Paris tennis loses close match to Mattoon

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Paris boys tennis suffered a tough loss at home to Newton Monday afternoon. It was a tough game to handle for Paris Head Coach Stefan Aydt. “Tonight was another frustrating loss. There were five matches on the night that went to third set tiebreaks and Mattoon won four of them, which falls on us. We won 93 games on the night to Mattoon’s 79, but they took the meet because of those third set tiebreaks.”

To lead things off, Jacob Randolph played a state qualifier from last year. Randolph struggled in the first set, but started to figure things out in the second set as he took an early lead, but was not able to come back to take the match, falling 6-1, 6-4. In second signles, Max Holloway took a big 6-2 win in the first set, but after an adjustment from his opponent, he struggled to win points. He took an early lead in the tiebreak, but his opponent made a nice comeback, putting away several good overheads to win 10-8.

Ethan Graham and Nathan Minnis both played good consistent tennis at number three and four, using a variety of shots to force errors or win points 6-4, 6-3, and 6-3, 6-1.  Caleb Lawson battled back after a tough first set, but fell in a tiebreak scenario 11-9 in the third set. Noah holzer played a similar match at number six, but went in favor of the Tigers, with a 3-6, 6-3, 10-5 win.

The tied meet would be decided in doubles. Paris won handily at second doubles, as Graham and Holloway did a great job of chasing down shots to keep points going and then finishing them off with good volleys, winning 6-1, 6-3. The matches at number one and three were both close. Holzer and Lawson fell behind 5-2 in the first set, but won 5 in a row to take the 7-5 win. Unfortunately, Mattoon started lobbing more in the second set and Paris was not able to find an answer, dropping the second set 6-3 and the third set tiebreak 10-6.

Coach Aydt declared the match at first doubles to be one of the best he had seen all year.  In first doubles, Randolph and Minnis faced off with Bergstrom and Comstock, who won the Robinson doubles tournament Saturday and are likely to be the top doubles seed in the Effingham sectional. Paris won the first set tiebreaker 7-6, while the second set was back and forth all along and also went to a tiebreaker, which Mattoon won 7-5. This led to another third set tiebreak, which the Tigers lost 10-7. “Even though they lost, I thought it was some of the best doubles they’ve played all year. We did a great job communicating and keeping points going, and also won a lot of points with our shots at the net.”