Riding the momentum wave: Chucks win again

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Riding the momentum from an impressive road win against Bradford Tuesday afternoon, the Chucks tennis team picked up another convincing win over the Brockway Rovers Thursday evening in Punxsutawney, 8-1.

"Brockway was 4-2 coming in, and their losses were to DuBois and Elk, so we have a few common losses there," Punxsy head coach Todd Heigley said after the win. "But I expected us to play well at home after coming off Tuesday's confidence booster against Bradford. It was a good win for us."

Heigley couldn't say enough about the importance of confidence, as his team continues to improve and gain experience throughout the season.

"The confidence goes a long way, and I think we played some pretty good tennis tonight. We had some guys playing doubles together who hadn't played together before. So it was good to see us perform well."

While the Chucks have had some success with sweeping singles action this year, the doubles was the group that picked up a four-game sweep Thursday.

In one of the first matches played Thursday, Joe Roberts and CJ Seitz picked up an 8-6 victory, as well, over Jordan Olivio and Jesse Powers at West End courts.

"Joe and CJ played well together for their first time as doubles partners," Heigley said. "There are a few things we need to kind of keep working on, but it's looking like a good doubles team for districts."

At No. 1 doubles, Mike Blose teamed with Tim Pearce to defeat Brockway's top duo, Fabio Fortunato and Alec Bouch.

The match was as close as one can be, with the two teams splitting the first 16 games down the middle to force a tie-breaker.

In the tie-breaker, Pearce and Blose eked out a 7-5 victory to earn the 9-8 team win and point.

At No. 2 doubles, Nick Robers and Eddie Serafin combined for a dominating 8-3 victory over the Rovers' James Matson and Sam Hawkins.

No. 3 doubles was an especially sweet win to wrap up the doubles sweep for the Chucks, as first-year player, senior Justin Ray, picked up his first win with teammate Ryan States, 8-6 over Jesse Hoover and Jesse Amatrone.

"Justin seemed to get a little bit of confidence from his win there tonight," Heigley said. "Ryan's senior leadership seemed to be an encouraging thing for him."

With the 8-1 victory, Punxsy also saw much success in the singles category, starting at the top at No. 1 singles.

Blose dropped his first set, 4-6, to Fortunato, but bounced back to win the second 6-3 and took the super tie-breaker 10-5 to wrap up the victory.

Pearce had the easiest go of it at No. 2 singles, where he dropped Joey Britton, 6-2, 6-0.

Serafin won a close first set, 7-5, and outplayed Bouch in the second set to win it, 6-2.

States earned Punxsy's final singles win of the day when he defeated Matson, 6-4, 6-4.

Brockway's only team point of the day came from Hawkins at No. 5 singles.

Hawkins defeated Nick Roberts 6-3 in the first set, but Roberts bounced back for a 6-1 victory in the second to force another super tie-breaker.

Hawkins edged Roberts 10-7 in the tie-break, though, to earn the win.

Heigley was content with the win afterwards, but he also said he wants the team to continue to focus on the things it needs to improve, too.

"Overall, we just need to keep battling," Heigley said. "We can't get complacent thinking we're at the top of the mountain with our game. We still have a long way to go."

The Chucks will have a long weekend to prepare for a road trip to Johnsonburg Monday, and Heigley said if he has it his way, it'll be another happy trip home.

"Johnsonburg's another one of those long rides, and we haven't much luck up there lately," he said. "So, we need to be prepared. Hopefully, we can change our luck and have an outing like we did at Bradford.

"The long road trips are hard, because it's tough to shake the cobwebs. But, we'll get to work tomorrow and keep plugging away as we start to prepare for districts, too."