2015-10-01 / Sports

Patriots Battle But Come Up Short In Sectional Opener Against Tiger Cubs

by Brent Ranard
for the Spencer Evening World

The Owen Valley boys’ tennis team listens to instructions from tournament director and Northview athletic director Charlie Jackson (left) prior to Tuesday night’s sectional match against Greencastle. (Photo by Brent Ranard) The Owen Valley boys’ tennis team listens to instructions from tournament director and Northview athletic director Charlie Jackson (left) prior to Tuesday night’s sectional match against Greencastle. (Photo by Brent Ranard) The Owen Valley boys’ tennis team wanted to make a little noise in the 2015 Northview sectional tournament. They drew Greencastle in the opening match on Tuesday night. They were hoping to reverse a 1-4 loss they suffered to the Tiger Cubs last week. The plan almost worked to perfection.

Midway through the match, which was moved to Depauw University’s indoor tennis facility due to rain, it looked like the Patriots might be poised to achieve the upset. Greencastle had taken an early lead when Jed Fajt defeated Cam King 0-6, 1-6 at number one singles. But the Patriots’ Coy Byerly had won the first set at number three singles and the number one doubles team of Anthony Sessions and Zach Carver also had won their first set. Cayden Sparks and Matt Mauder were locked into a seesaw battle with Nathan Hensley and Jacob Harris at number two doubles that could have gone either way.


Junior Zach Carver lunges for a shot at the net during his number one doubles match Tuesday night. (Photo by Brent Ranard) Junior Zach Carver lunges for a shot at the net during his number one doubles match Tuesday night. (Photo by Brent Ranard) In the end, the experience and patience of the Tiger Cubs prevailed and they ended up sweeping Owen Valley 5-0 to end the Patriots’ season. Ryne Heckman lost in straight sets to Sean Ramsey 2-6, 2-6 at number two doubles. Byerly fell to Yuji Mozawa 6-3, 3-6, and 3-6. Sessions and Carver lost to Nathan Gobert and Elijah Lewis 6-6 (7-5 tiebreaker), 2-6, and 4-6, and Sparks and Mauder fell 3-6, 4-6.

Coach Trent Heckman was extremely proud of the effort put forth by his team. “Although we lost I like the way that my guys approached the match. We had a plan of attack and did the best we could to execute that plan,” he said. “In the end Greencastle made some adjustments and they were able to win. They are a good team, a team that won the WIC (Western Indiana Conference) West, but we competed and made it tough for them.”


Freshman Coy Byerly makes a nice service return during his number three singles match Tuesday. (Photo by Brent Ranard) Freshman Coy Byerly makes a nice service return during his number three singles match Tuesday. (Photo by Brent Ranard) The Patriots have come a long way this season and it has been fun to watch some of these athletes that specialize in other sports besides tennis, improve at an incredible rate from their first matches.

“I’m really proud of the way my players worked throughout the year. The intensity was always there in practices and in matches. At times it would have been easy to get discouraged or give up but they didn’t,” Heckman added. “I think we probably improved more than any team in the state considering where we were on day one and where we’re at now.”


Junior Matt Mauder slams home a shot at the net in number two doubles action Tuesday night. (Photo by Brent Ranard) Junior Matt Mauder slams home a shot at the net in number two doubles action Tuesday night. (Photo by Brent Ranard) The future looks bright for the Owen Valley boys’ tennis program and Heckman is already looking forward to next season. “We lose three important seniors who played varsity, but we have ten athletic and competitive guys coming back who will play this summer and be better next year,” he said.

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