Adversity hit the Saint Ignatius tennis team on Tuesday.
The Wildcats' top two singles players – Arjun Brahmbhatt and Nate Day – were forced out of the lineup, leaving a gaping hole for the Tennis Cats.
Against a strong North Canton Hoover team, missing two of your best players can spell defeat. But the Wildcats overcame the odds to beat a very good Vikings squad, 3-2.
With the No. 1 and No. 2 singles players out, Drew Barclay stepped into the void at the top spot. Barclay has enjoyed a nice senior year, carving out wins at the No. 3 spot.
But Barclay could not overcome a very tough opponent at the No. 1 spot. Barclay put up quite the fight in both sets, but fell just short. Barclay experienced his first defeat of the young season, 6-4, 6-4.
Kai Vesikallio also struggled some at the No. 2 slot. Vesikallio was dealt his second straight defeat, at the hands of a junior from the Vikings. Vesikallio slid to a 6-4, 6-2 loss despite a valiant effort.
In the No. 3 spot, Arul Mehta rose to the occasion. Mehta crushed it in his first varsity singles appearance of the year. The sophomore tied up a 6-2, 6-1 victory in impressive fashion. Mehta's crucial victory opened a lane for the Wildcats to win.
As they have for much of the year, Thomas Deucher and Jack McNally paired up and took down the competition at the No. 1 doubles spot. The experienced duo assembled a win like clockwork in just two sets, 6-1, 6-2.
In a crucial match, the Wildcats' sophomore-freshman combo of Kenny Li and Michael Nock defeated a senior-junior doubles team from Hoover. Li and Nock played well off each other, wasting little time in running to a 6-1, 6-1 triumph.
Head Coach Bobbe Bennett was very happy after the match.
"This win was an example of our depth," Bennett said. "With Nate and Arjun out, Arul stepped in and clinched the match. This team is so selfless and has really bought into being good teammates. It’s great to be apart of."
With the win, the Wildcats advance to 5-0 on the year. The men of Ohio City will finish out a busy week on Friday, closing it out at University School. The Wildcats will then take part in the vaunted Medina Doubles Tournament on Saturday.
JV Cats stay undefeated
The Wildcats won another road match on Tuesday, downing North Canton Hoover, 4-1.
The JV Cats won all three singles matches. Shay Tanna emerged victorious at No. 1 singles, 6-1, 6-4. Telly Apostolakis locked in a win at the No. 2 spot, 6-1, 6-4. Liam Walters sealed the sweep with a 6-3, 6-2 victory at the third spot.
The lone defeat occurred at the No. 1 doubles position. Alex and John Daoud experienced a very tough matchup against Gabe Donnemiller and Cam Baven. The Daoud's won the first set, 7-5, before dropping the second stanza, 6-4. The Vikings handily won the tiebreaker, 10-4.
Charlie Cindric and Kyle McNamara also encountered a tough match in the No. 2 doubles, but the two juniors emerged with a win. The Wildcat duo won the opening set, 6-0. Then the Vikings took the second set to tie it with a 6-1 win. The rubber match went to the Wildcats, as Cindric and McNamara triumphed, 6-3.
The JV Cats return to the court on Thursday, facing Hawken on the road before getting to play at home again on Friday vs. the Preppers.