The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

May 3, 2012

Eagles get a share

Geneva tennis squad has two chances to bag PAC title outright

A sprinter rarely celebrates a win in the 100-meter dash upon reaching the 90-meter mark. A celebration with 10 meters to go would surely mean losing the race.

In beating Lakeside, 4-1, Wednesday at Geneva, the Eagles claimed a share of the Premier Athletic Conference championship. Eagles’ coach Phil Dubsky is viewing the accomplishment as his team’s 90-meter mark.

“I guess (the win means we clinched a share), but we’re not viewing it that way because we up (on South) by two matches and we still have two matches to play,” Dubsky said. “The goal is to win the league and not share it.

“So, until we win it, we’re not viewing it as a success. Also, we’ve got the chance to go undefeated (in the league) so that’s what we should be shooting for. We’ll try to win every match we play. At the end of the day, you can add up the tally and if we win it, then we’ll celebrate, but not until the season is over.”

Dubsky knows what can happen if the Eagles (17-1, 10-0) begin the celebration now.   

“Plenty of teams though they have had championships wrapped up and they weren’t,” he said. “Besides which, we did not play terribly well. We did not play like a championship team tonight.”

Geneva still has league matches with South (Tuesday at home) and Chardon (tentatively scheduled for a week from Friday). A win over the Rebels clinches the league title outright.

In clinching the share, the Eagles have exceeded expectations somewhat, but that doesn’t mean they are playing as well as they possibly can.

“We have done better than expected up until tonight,” Dubsky said. “We have to strive to be the best we can be and not just better than the other player or team across the court.”

That said, the Eagles have shown a characteristic that pleases Dubsky to see.

“I will say one thing for this team,” Dubsky said. “It is young, but it knows how to fight. I’ve had other teams that would have cashed in the chips but these guys don’t quit until the ball bounces twice. That’s partly why it has exceeded the expectations. They’ve all fought hard to get to where they are. They’re a joy to watch.”

In the spirit of fighting, the Eagles claimed victories in two of the three tightly contested matches with the Dragons.

“We were thinking there was a possibility (for the win), but we faded toward the end,” Lakeside coach Bob Walters said. “Of course, (the Geneva) players had a lot to do with that. We were keeping our fingers crossed. The kids did play hard, there’s no question about it.”    

Brent McFarland won in three sets, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, over Kyle Downs at second singles and Jacob Groce beat Logan Stowell, 6-3, 6-4, at first singles.

“We had a similar discussion back at the courts,” Walters said. “There was a possibility for a 3-2 decision in favor of Lakeside. We just weren’t able to close the deal.”

Ryan Huang and Brock Ebersole downed Reno Dannels and Jake Cimorelli, 6-2, 6-0 at first doubles and Ford Carlisle dropped Jesse Blair, 6-0, 6-0, at third singles for the Eagles.

Jake Campbell and Ryan Applebee prevailed, 2-6, 7-6 (7-3), 7-5 for the Dragons over Adam Gruber and Ryan Weisbarth at second doubles.         

Ettinger is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.

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