MEDINA — Carter Moore and T.J. Lockwood staged third-set rallies Thursday to lift the Wadsworth boys tennis team to an intracounty triumph.
Moore and Lockwood were victorious at first and second singles and the Grizzlies swept the doubles courts Thursday en route to a 4-1 non-league win over Medina.
All three singles contests went the distance before Wadsworth (8-4) put away the feisty Bees (5-5) on an 81-degree afternoon that featured sunny skies and frequent wind gusts.
“Each of the singles matches were very competitive, so this was a really good win for our team,” said Grizzlies coach Christa Halicki, whose lineup consisted of seven seniors. “It shows the guys that every competition and every day is an opportunity to showcase what you can do on the court.
“As long as you remain even-keeled and stay in the fight from start to finish, the chips will usually fall in your favor.”
Lockwood provided the decisive point with his 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Bees sophomore Carlos Levine. Levine held a 3-2 lead in the third set before Lockwood claimed the next two games and rode the momentum home in an intriguing chess match.
“I tried to play consistent in the first set, but it didn’t work out too well, so I came out more aggressive in the second,” Lockwood said. “Carlos is a good player, which is why I had to stay composed in the third. I was taking my shots when they presented themselves, and I was able to make enough of them when I needed to late.”
Earlier this season, Lockwood and Moore topped Levine and senior Maxim Smith in doubles play. The foursome could square off one more time — at singles or doubles — next month in the sectional tournament.
“We always want to beat Medina because they’re a good team in addition to being one of our rivals,” Moore said. “It’s usually competitive on every court, and I was looking forward to playing Maxim today because he’s a very solid player with a big serve. We pushed each other quite a bit out there.”
Smith was up 4-3 in the final set, but Moore stormed back to win the final three games, including a service break in the ninth to pull out the 6-7( 8), 6-4, 6-4 thriller that lasted two hours and closed out the match.
Both players praised each other following the battle, with Smith noting the great improvement Moore has made in moving up to first singles this spring.
“Carter has gotten so much better and he hits the ball so hard and with so much spin,” he said. “It’s not easy playing with the wind coming out of nowhere — Coach (Alison Snook) always calls it the great equalizer — but I thought we both fought through it as well as we could.”
Wadsworth quickly won the doubles contests as Noah Porter and Sam Hanna topped Brad Ott and Andrej Kovacik 6-3, 6-4 at No. 1 and William Virgin and Beau Casey beat Jonathan Dexheimer and Hayden Bunn 6-2, 6-2.
At third singles, Medina junior Jacob Scharnweber pulled off an impressive comeback of his own. The German exchange student fought off a quartet of match points to edge Demetri Laikos 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5), then received congratulations from Bees girls tennis ace Elizabeth Stuart.
“Jacob has a terrific volley, but sometimes with the wind, he’s not as comfortable with his groundstrokes,” Snook said. “He really stuck with it today and was so proud of himself for coming back from four potential match points. The entire team was proud of him, too.”
Next up for the Grizzlies is their biggest match of the season Monday against Hudson. Both squads are 6-0 in the Suburban League National Conference and the winner will claim the regular-season title.
“We’re going to spend the next several days getting some good hitting in because this win gives us more confidence heading into Monday,” Moore said.
Lockwood agreed, saying, “We’ve been kind of shaky in our non-league matches, but Medina is one of Wadsworth’s main rivals, so this definitely gives us a boost going into the Hudson match.”
Wadsworth 4, Medina 1
Singles: Carter Moore (W) def. Maxim Smith, 6-7 (8), 6-4, 6-4; T.J. Lockwood (W) def. Carlos Levine, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4; Jacob Scharnweber (M) def. Demetri Laikos, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5). Doubles: Noah Porter/Sam Hanna (W) def. Brad Ott/Andrej Kovacik, 6-3, 6-4; William Virgin / Beau Casey (W) def. Jonathan Dexheimer/Hayden Bunn, 6-2, 6-2. Records: Wadsworth (8-4), Medina (5-5).