MOUNT VERNON — With the threat of incoming rain, Mount Vernon’s boys tennis match against Watkins Memorial Monday was shortened to pro sets, which is first to 10 sets, and the Warriors edged out the Yellow Jackets, 3-2.
“I don’t think it changes anything,” Mount Vernon senior Solvi Gunderson said of the change in format. “Regardless of how we play, it’s just got to be, go out there and win as many sets as we can, obviously, and just try to keep our strokes in.”
Gunderson was on Mount Vernon’s No. 1 doubles team with Harry Ogle and the pair picked up a win for the Jackets. Watkins Memorial’s Asa Jessup and Ben Branham jumped out to an early 4-1 lead over the Jacket tandem, but it took some minor adjustments and the home doubles got their footing. They trimmed the lead to 6-4 and then rattled off six of the next seven sets to win 10-7.
Gunderson and Ogle are now 3-1 this spring as a pairing at first doubles.
Like the No. 1 doubles team, several of the Jackets started slow out of the gates, and many of the competitors were unable to recover.
“They did not come out aggressive today. They did not come out hitting good shots,” Mount Vernon coach Jeff Jarosz said. “I don’t know if it was the three-day layoff. I don’t know what it was. A couple kids got into the groove towards the end, but I think a slow start really hurt us in a lot of courts.”
No. 1 singles player Matt Dinnen was the other Jacket to secure a win, beading Simon Blum 10-4. In other singles action, Wil Kaufman fell to Murphy Weller 10-2 in second doubles. Jack Staats suffered a 10-1 loss to Andrew Hare at No. 3 doubles.
Ryan Peeples and Matt Sabula again linked up for No. 2 singles. They held tough against Tyler Hayman and Coleton Kulick, forcing the game to an extra set, but they came up just short, 11-9.
“What’s nice about second doubles is they’re two really solid players with two really solid strokes,” Jarosz said. “The way they hit the ball is text book. We still have to work on being a little more aggressive and hitting a few more volleys, but their form is excellent. Because of that form, they’re going to be in every match.”
The Jackets have a busy week this week and return to action on the road today against Madison with a 4:30 p.m. start. Mount Vernon returns home to play Mansfield Senior Thursday at 4 p.m.