PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Punxsy boys' tennis team lost its final match of the season Thursday, 5-4 in DuBois, but the Chucks completed the year with a 6-5 record, which was an improvement over last year's 4-8 mark.
Punxsy went from a 4-8 team in 2010 that had no upperclassmen to a squad that finished above .500 in 2011.
"Those seniors, like I said last year, they were going to make a change, and they did," Punxsy head coach Todd Heigley said. "The biggest thing was the maturity and composure of these kids; it shines through. It was really nice to work with them. They knew what was right and what was wrong, and they played with integrity."
Both teams strayed from their normal starting lineups to give other players an opportunity to compete. While doing that, DuBois won three of five singles matches, and the two schools split the four doubles matches.
In singles action, Punxsy seniors Adam Murdock and Matt Weaver each won the final matches of their careers. Murdock bested Patrick Johnson, 6-3, 7-5, and Weaver topped Luke Haskins, 7-6 (7-4), 2-6, 10-7.
"That was probably one of the best matches I've seen Matt play all year. He was patient. He came out the last two years and was an asset to the team," Heigley said. "It was nice to see Adam and Matt finish their careers with wins."
Junior Eddie Serafin, sophomore Nick Roberts and freshman Joe Roberts each lost their singles matches. Serafin and Nick Roberts haven't played much singles this year, and Joe Roberts was making his debut.
Matt Fultz defeated Nick Roberts, 6-3, 1-6, 10-7, and Colton Ames beat Serafin, 2-6, 6-1, 10-4.
"Eddie was hot and cold, and the same thing with Nick," Heigley said. "When you're hot you're hot. When you're not, you're not."
Joe Roberts, the younger brother of senior Dave Roberts and Nick Roberts, lost to Jacob Beers, 1-6, 1-6.
"It was nice to get him that experience this year instead of waiting for next year so he knows how far he has to come," Heigley said." It gives him a little bit of a taste of what it's like to play at the singles level."
Junior Tim Pearce and sophomore Mike Blose improved to 8-0 as a tandem this season with an 8-5 victory over Alex Davis and Ian Davis. Pearce and Blose will be Punxsy's top-seeded team entering the District IX Class AAA Doubles Tournament, which begins at 9:30 a.m. Monday in DuBois.
Seniors Brandon Bish and Dave Roberts, Punxsy's other district doubles tandem, lost to Trey Gilmore and Johnson, 6-8. Punxsy's seniors Jacob Palaschak and Anthony Pascuzzo won the final match of their careers when they defeated Luke Bickerstaff and Mark Badtorff, 8-1, and DuBois' Robert Dusek and Alex Frantz were victorious over Nick and Joe Roberts, 8-1.
Heigley is hopeful for his doubles teams Monday.
"I think it's all in their mindset. We're just going to try to keep those guys focused on the way over and see what happens," he said. "The biggest thing is if we can keep our composure and have a short memory, we'll be fine."