PUNXSUTAWNEY — For the second time this year, the Punxsy boys' tennis team exited its match against Brockway with a 9-0 victory Thursday afternoon at home.
This time, Punxsy head coach Todd Heigley tinkered with his lineup in order to provide his doubles players with some singles action. What resulted was another decisive victory over the Rovers.
"I sat back and kept the pressure off a couple guys and let them play tennis," Heigley said. "I figured some of those guys who never played singles before would have struggled. I was hoping the lineup change wouldn't backfire for me, but those guys stepped up, and that's a credit to them."
Playing in their first singles matches ever were senior Matt Weaver and junior Nick Roberts, Heigley said. Weaver easily beat Jordan Olivio in the No. 5 singles match, 6-0, 6-1, and Roberts topped Jesse Powers, 4-6, 6-1, 10-0, in the No. 3 singles slot.
"I wanted to kind of give those guys who haven't played singles a little bit of a shot to play singles," Heigley said. "It was a really nice day. Matt played really well, so I'm happy for him."
Heigley said that Punxsy assistant coach Bryan Seitz joked that Roberts appeared as if he had forgotten how to play singles while dropping the first set, 4-6. He quickly turned things around by winning six of seven games in the second set and winning every point in the tiebreaker.
"He played like he had a mental block (during the first set)," Heigley said. "Nick has the potential to do things, and it seems like he really took off after he got his motor running in the second set."
Punxsy senior Brandon Bish and Adam Murdock bounced back from their team tournament losses Wednesday with wins Thursday in the No. 1 and 2 singles slots. Bish defeated Fabio Fortunato, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, and Murdock was victorious over Joey Britton, 6-3, 6-1.
"After the losses yesterday, they were trying to get the winning mentality back in their systems," Heigley said. "They pulled through. Brandon really pulled away toward the end."
In the other singles match, Eddie Serafin beat Noah Serafini, 6-4, 6-3.
Dave Roberts, a senior and Punxsy's No. 1 player, competed in doubles with his younger brother, freshman Joe Roberts. The Roberts brothers defeated Tyler Holden and Jesse Hoover, 8-1.
"I wanted to have a senior leader rub off on his brother a little bit," Heigley said. "Dave's very capable of making shots, and Joe was trying to outdo his older brother a little bit."
Tim Pearce and Mike Blose improved to 6-0 as a tandem with an 8-1 No. 1 doubles victory over Britton and Serafini. Punxsy's Jacob Palaschak and Anthony Pascuzzo and beat Alec Bouch and Fortunato, 8-5, and in the No. 2 doubles match, Nick Roberts, another one of three Roberts brothers on the team, won with Weaver over Powers and Olivio, 8-2, at No. 3 doubles.
Palaschak and Pascuzzo trailed 4-3 before they finished their match on a 5-1 run.
The Chucks will host the Johnsonburg Rams at 3:30 p.m. today.
Next week, Dave Roberts and Murdock will compete Monday morning at the District IX Class AAA Singles Tournament in DuBois.
Two players from Bradford, Clearfield and DuBois will also compete.
Punxsy will then head to DuBois again for the District IX Class AAA Team Tournament Championship, which begins at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.