By Brady Extin | The Times-Post
GREENFIELD — For the first time all season, Pendleton Heights boys tennis fell below .500 after a 4-1 loss to Greenfield-Central.
The Arabians fell behind 2-0 early on in the Sept. 14 match-up after Jaxton Bush fell to G-C’s Matt Hyre 0-6, 2-6 in the No.3 doubles spot.
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In his first match on varsity, Bush was not given an easy task as he was pitted against Hyre who is one of the G-C seniors and someone who played No. 1 singles last season.
“Jaxton played well for his first match, and the experience will only make him better,” Pendleton Heights head coach Royce Hammel said.
Following the finish of that match was the No. 2 singles match where Austin Perny was defeated by another opponent who has seen time at the No. 1 singles position — Chris Long 0-6, 1-6.
In the only match of the evening to go all three sets, Pendleton Heights Sam Bowers was defeated by C.J. Michalek 6-4, 0-6, 3-6 in the No. 1 singles spot. After winning set one, Bowers was unable to grab either of the last two.
“Sam started out strong, GC changed strategy, and then at 3-4 in the third set, GC pulled out the victory,” Hammel said. “Life at the top is tough, always playing the best player, and Sam has done a great job at his position. It’s tough and can wear you down, but Sam hangs in there and does his best.”
Pendleton Heights split the two doubles matches.
The No. 1 doubles team for Pendleton Heights, Cole Bubenzer and Mark Nielsen, kept their great season going defeating Lucas Sitzman and Caden Robertson 6-1, 7-5.
“Another match where our boys had the match under control and then tried to give it away,” Hammel said. “We’ll take the win, but sloppy play, yes sloppy, will not hold up to teams we should mow over. The boys have the tools, but smarter play needs to be in the mix.”
Ben Caldwell and Isaac Elizondo lost the No. 2 doubles match 6-7(10), 6-1 to Alex Michalek and Michael Kwiatkowski.
Pendleton Heights followed up the G-C result with a loss to Lapel on Thursday.
In a close match, the Arabians fell 3-2.
This time, they were able to grab wins in both the No. 1 and No. 2 singles matches.
In the No. 1 position, Bowers defeated Ryder Aldrich 7-6(5), 7-5 and in the No. 2 spot Perny outlasted Camden Novak (L) 5-7, 6-1, 6-4.
Bush, still getting used to varsity play, fell 2-6, 7-6(1), 2-6 to Hogan Bair.
Surprisingly for the Arabians, they were unable to grab the win in the No. 1 doubles spot as Nielsen and Bubenzer lost to Isaac Bair and Jaden Cash 6-4, 7-5.
Similarly, in the No. 2 doubles spot, Caldwell and new partner Isaac Haugh lost to Grant Humerickhouse and Shyam Lewis 6-2, 6-3.