By BOB ETTINGER
For the Star Beacon
It isn’t often the Geneva team has to rebound from losing three matches in a week. But that’s exactly what the Eagles were looking to do when Lakeside visited for a Premier Athletic Conference match Monday.
The Eagles, who fell last week to Beachwood, 3-2, on Monday, Kenston, 3-2 on Wednesday and McDowell, 3-2 on Friday, were up to the task with a 4-1 victory.
“We had a bit of a rough stretch,” Geneva coach Phil Dubsky said. “The kids have came through. It will prepare them for sectionals. I’d rather have them play too much rather than not enough.
“It’s difficult for the kids to keep getting up night after night after night. That’s part of the coach’s job to have them mentally ready.”
Geneva (7-3, 5-0) has played on nine of the last 10 days (it doesn’t play on Sundays) and will play the next four days.
The Dragons (4-3, 2-1) battled hard, but Geneva prevailed.
“It was a good match, a competitive match,” Dubsky said. “But I didn’t feel pressed. I felt we were in control the whole way.”
“That was a good match for us in terms of seeing some growth and improvement for our players,” Lakeside coach Bob Walters said.
The lone match that a Lakeside player was victorious was the match of the night.
Kyle Downs beat Brock Ebersole, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5) at second singles.
“Kyle Downs played extremely well,” Walters said. “First of all, Kyle is a competitor. He will work as long and as hard as it takes just to win a point, let alone a set or match.
“He’s patient and he’s able to strategize pretty well. We’re working on making the adjustments. He’s just got a lot of heart. He doesn’t believe he’s going to lose until it becomes a reality that he’s lost.”
“That was a great match at second singles,” Dubsky said. “Kyle Downs is a great athlete. He fought his way through. It was a really fun match to watch.”
Jacob Groce got the Eagles off to a good start in dropping Logan Stowell, 6-1, 6-2, at first singles.
“Jacob Groce has been our leader all year,” Dubsky said. “We do count on him. He’s had a really good stretch at the beginning season and we’ve played some good teams. He’s played some really good players already.
“He’s our leader. He sets the tone for us and he certainly did that tonight. Logan’s a good player and Jacob didn’t let him get going at all.”
Brent McFarland added the Eagles’ second win, topping Jake Cimorelli, 6-0, 6-1, at third singles.
The Eagles had been struggling in the doubles portion of their lineup, but those two teams answered with wins against the Dragons.
“We’ve changed the doubles around a little bit,” Dubsky said. “We have not had as much success at doubles as we’d anticipated. We haven’t played well or meshed well there. We’re starting to play better and that’s a good thing.”
Joe Roney and Ford Carlisle bettered Jake Campbell and Ryan Applebee at first doubles and Adam Gruber and Louis Murphy topped Jesse Blair and Clark Heath at second doubles. Both pairs won by 6-3, 6-3, scores.
“I’m happy with the play of our two doubles teams,” Walters said. “That’s the first time Jake and Ryan have played No. 1 and we had a different second doubles team. They played a competitive match, as well.”
Ettinger is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.