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Robin netmen win a thriller, team gets revenge over Hodags
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The Antigo High School boys tennis team certainly knows how to make things entertaining.

Needing a win in order to stay in the hunt for a Great Northern Conference title, the Robins got revenge over rival Rhinelander Friday following an early-week loss in what could prove as the title match of the season.

“That was the most exciting tennis match I have ever coached,” head man Dave Zalewski said. ”This was hard fought, down to the wire, with the final result not known until the last ball was hit in the very last match on the court.”

The Robins won the match 4-3.

“All the boys competed especially well today. Even the losses were close, with the boys on both teams leaving it all on the court,” Zalewski said.

The afternoon’s spotlight fell on the squads’ top athletes at No. 1 singles and pairs. The Robins’ main rival all season, Rhinelander held a slim 3-2 lead before the meet’s finale was determined by the two remainining flights.

“All of the Antigo players came out firing in the third set, but Rhinelander wouldn't go away.  Every game went contested, with the score going back and forth between deuce and add,” Zalewski said.

The Robins’ Brett Haakenson was the first to close out a victory, eeking out the third set by narrow margin of 6-4 after winning the first 6-2 and falling in the second 2-6 to the Hodags’ Sam O’Melia.

Tied at 3-all, the match came down to the tandem of Colin Bastle-Kyle West.

“Both teams pulled out their best play.  Unbelievable net play along with smart all around court play, each team dug in and held their ground,” Zalewski said. “West was bombing powerful unreturnable backhands.  Bastle was hustling to get well hit angles and short balls.  Both players were returning well hit overheads by Rhinelander.”

Challenging Rhinelander’s Lou Bassette and Trent Wild, the pair won the first set 6-4, lost the second 6-7 with a 7-5 tiebreaker and in the third, grinded out a 6-3 to secure a Red Robin victory.

For five of its players, it was doubly thrilling, serving as the home finale for the senior crew —West, Zalewski, Bastle, Bartletti and Haakenson.

“This was just a great night for Antigo tennis,” Zalewski said, reiterating the excitement of the night. “It wasn’t the victory as much as the determination of these young athletes on both sides. As Athletic Director Matt Meronk said after the match “this is what high school athletics is about.”

After finishing a contest Tuesday of a postponement of an earlier match this season, Antigo will compete at Rhinelander beginning at 1 p.m. Thursday  in the conference tournament where it will again challenge the Hodags for the conference title.



Antigo Varsity Boys Tennis

at Elleson Courts

May 16, 2014

Antigo 4, Rhinelander 3.



Singles

1. Brett Haakenson def. Sam Omelia 6-2  2-6  6-4.

2. Brian Barletti def. Drew Stafford 6-2  6-2.

3. Alex Thomae  lost to Logan Wild  4-6  5-7.

4. Brennan Brown lost to Matt O'Melia 3-6  1-6.

Doubles

1. Colin Bastle and Kyle West def.  Lou Bassette and Trent Wild  6-4  6-7 (5-7)  6-3.

2.  Garrett Grabowsky and Joe Servi lost to Cody Zimmerman and Will Ginnel 1-6  5-7.

3. Drew Schwarz and Ben Barletti def. Cody Vinger and Marshall Dana 6-2 6-4. 

Exhibition

Tommy Blink and Spencer Fittante def. Duncan Seidel and Alex Middleton 6-4; and Ryan Kovak and Austin Marquardt 6-1.
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Phone: 715-623-4191
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Mail to: Fred Berner
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