A 5-game winning streak to open the season ended on Thursday for the Wildcats.
In a road matchup with University School, the Saint Ignatius varsity tennis team gave all it had, but fell short in a 5-0 loss.
But the 5-0 score does not tell the full tale. The Tennis Cats provided a stout battle in each of the five contests.
Returning to the No. 1 singles spot, Nate Day experienced a tough day. The sophomore ran into Chas Norman, a two-time state qualifier. The US junior had to battle with Day in the first set, winning 6-2. Norman made adjustments and conquered Day in the second set, 6-0.
Kai Vesikallio also faced off against a more experienced foe. The Wildcats' freshman matched up with junior Charlie Joranko, a 2018 state qualifier for the Preppers. Vesikallio played fiercely throughout the entire match, but Joranko outdueled the first-year, 6-1, 6-2. Joranko is undefeated this season.
Drew Barclay returned to the No. 3 spot vs. the Preppers, but still faced a difficult opponent, Ben Martin. The US sophomore also stands undefeated on the young campaign, not surrendering more than 2 points in a set. Barclay battled, but received a 6-0, 6-1 defeat.
The best match of the day occurred in the No. 1 doubles spot. Jack McNally and Thomas Deucher formed a formidable duo for Nathan Mu and Sohum Kapadia of University School. Deucher and McNally captured the first set in a very close contest, 7-6. The second stanza fell to the hosts, Mu and Kapadia. Fight as they might, McNally and Deucher could not win the rubber set, dropping the match to the Preppers.
The Wildcats' dynamic duo of Kenny Li and Michael Nock also experienced defeat at the No. 2 doubles spot. Max Borsch and Spencer Krantz, a tough senior-sophomore pairing, were forced to work hard, but ultimately emerged with a 6-3, 6-4 triumph.
Despite the sweep, the Wildcats' head coach, Bobbe Bennett, felt proud of her squad.
"Although the final team score was one-sided these were hard-fought matches," Bennett said, "We made US work for the win. Our first doubles played very well, specifically. We're looking forward to hopefully getting another shot at them at coaches cup."
In the meantime, the 5-1 Wildcats look ahead to the Medina Doubles Tournament on Saturday.
JV Cats get another road win, beating Hawken
Facing the Hawken varsity B squad, the Wildcats yet again delivered favorable results on the road.
Shay Tanna started the party with a wonderful 6-3, 6-3 victory at No. 1 singles. Tanna's win would be the only two setter of the day.
Telly Apostolakis started the afternoon with a difficult 7-5 loss in the first set. But the sophomore kept working in the second set and was rewarded with a 6-4 victory. The tiebreaker set also went to the hard-charging Apostolakis, 6-2.
Liam Walters took the opposite path to victory. The freshman won the opening set, 6-0, before running into trouble in the second set with a 6-4 defeat. The rubber set proved to be an enticing battle, eventually won by the young Wildcat, 6-3.
Sohan Shah and Varun Ravichandran combined to rep the Wildcats at the No. 1 doubles spot. The freshman-junior duo encountered defeat in the first set with a narrow 7-6 loss. But Shah and Ravichandran bounced back with an authoritative 6-0 win in the second set. The duo claimed the tiebreaker, 6-4, to capture the win.
Max Sfeir and Andrew Sfeir were not as fortunate in the second doubles spot. The duo dropped a 7-6 decision to open, but could not rebound with a second set win, losing 7-5.
With the win, the JV Tennis Cats are now 5-0 on the year. The team returns to action on Monday vs. Kenston at Magnificat High School, as Friday's planned match vs. University School was postponed to May 3.