Extended layoff hurts Chucks in loss to DuBois

PUNXSUTAWNEY — After more than a full week off — thanks in part to a snowed-out match against Johnsonburg Monday — the Punxsy boys' tennis team returned to action Friday against a difficult squad in the DuBois Beavers, and DuBois earned a 9-0 victory.

Despite the zero on the score sheet, the Chucks did have a number of close matches, and Punxsy head coach Todd Heigley said it was difficult to keep the rhythm that his team had been building over the course of the season with such a long layoff.

"Obviously, this isn't exactly what you'd like to see," he said. "But after a long layoff, losing 0-9 to a pretty good DuBois team, we had some good competition anyhow."

Punxsy's tightest match in the singles category was at No. 5 singles, where Nick Roberts dropped the first set to DuBois' Josh Hnat, 4-6, but rebounded to win the second by the inverse score, 6-4.

Hnat won the tie-breaker, though, 10-5, to earn the team point for the Beavers.

Roberts was also a part of a doubles team that nearly earned a victory before being edged by DuBois.

Roberts and Eddie Serafin teamed at No. 2 doubles and led as late as 7-6, but DuBois' duo of Colton Ames and Patrick Johnson battled back to earn a 9-7 win.

The score was the same at No. 1 doubles, where Mike Blose and Tim Pearce dropped their match to the Beavers' top pair of Trey Gilmore and Matt Fultz.

In another close one at No. 4 doubles, Joe Roberts and CJ Seitz fell victim to Aaron Lines and Mark Badtorff, 6-8.

And, at No. 3 doubles, Justin Ray and Ryan States battled back from being down 7-2, before falling 8-4 to Hnat and Luke Hastairs.

"We were competitive in doubles," Heigley said. "We had two sets go to 7-9, and Justin and Ryan battled back in their match. It was a tough, long layoff, and on top of it, we had some screwy weather. It's kind of frustrating a bit, and that seemed to show in our play today. When you haven't played in a while, you get out of your rhythm."

Punxsy had no better luck in the rest of the singles departments, with Blose dropping the No. 1 singles match to Gilmore, 0-6, 3-6 and Pearce falling 1-6, 1-6 to Fultz at No. 2 singles.

Serafin dropped his first set against Johnson in a tie-breaker but lost the second 2-6, and States fell to Ames, 3-6, 4-6, completing the sweep for the Beavers.

"We don't want to make excuses," Heigley said. "We just have to focus on making fewer errors. I saw that the most today. We had times where we could have put it away, and instead, we let them right back in a game, and the next thing you know, you're done."

Heigley said he hopes his squad can rebound quickly, as it has no time off before traveling to DuBois to take on DuBois Central Catholic at noon today.

"We just need to eliminate those mental errors, and the unforced ones, and hopefully we'll bounce right back," he said.