Thursday, July 10, 2014

Despite inexperience, Mountaineer netmen better last year’s record

May 09. 2013 4:47PM

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Dallas entered the boys tennis season with the uncertainty of an inexperienced lineup.

Despite, that inexperience, the Mountaineers wrapped up the team portion of their schedule by advancing one round further in the District 2 Class AA tournament and matching last season’s 8-5 record.

“My goal every year is to make the district playoffs,” coach Joe Pugliese said. “We did that again this year and came into districts as the No. 4 seed, which was a good accomplishment for our team.

“It’s a little better than expected coming in with an inexperienced team.”

The Mountaineers defeated Berwick, 4-1, in the team semifinals Monday. They advanced to Tuesday’s semifinals where they fell to then-undefeated Wyoming Seminary, 3-0.

Dallas swept the singles matches in its home playoff against Berwick.

Francois Ross downed Luke Whitenight, 6-1, 6-0, at No. 1; Tyler Tuck defeated Dom Scicchitano, 6-1, 6-3, at No. 2; and Aleksey Gitelson topped Blake Whitmire, 6-2, 6-0, atNo. 3.

Ross earned a seventh seed in the individual district tournament, which began Thursday, based on his singles play throughout the season.

Gitelson had the team’s best singles record, going 9-2.

Steve Wempa and Colton Powell gave Dallas a point at No. 1 doubles by beating Berwick’s Nick Oliver and Cole Gardner, 6-0, 6-3.

James Garringer and Arlinson Reyes of Berwick defeated Frank Hullihen and Nick Mouldoon, 6-2, 6-4, at No. 2.

“A few of the guys that had very little experience from last year that got to play most of the matches this year did very well,” Pugliese said. “Colton Powell did very well playing doubles for us.

“Frank Hullihen is a junior who had never played on a team before. This is his first year but he did very well.”

Hullihen was in the lineup for every match, splitting time between first and second doubles.

The doubles teams did their best to extend matches against Wyoming Seminary in the district semifinals before the competition was halted when the Blue Knights clinched the victory with three singles points.

Wempa and Powell were tied, 4-4, in the second set after dropping the first set to Matt Cartwright and Grant Klinger. Hullihen and Mouldoon took the first set to a tiebreaker against Peter Valentiner and Matt Obeid.

The Blue Knights, who fell to Scranton Prep, 3-2, in the championship match, won by taking all but five games in the six sets of singles play.

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