The York Suburban-York Catholic boys' tennis match hadn't even started on Monday, but Trojans' head Mark O'Reilly already knew what to expect.
"It's always close when we play York Catholic," O'Reilly said while watching the players warm up. "I'm sure both coaches want to win three singles matches (to carry a 3-2 lead into the doubles)."
Just as O'Reilly predicted, the Trojans and Fighting Irish staged another tight match.
York Suburban pulled out a 4-3 victory in a clash of the only two remaining unbeaten teams in York-Adams Division II.
The decision avenged a 4-3 loss to York Catholic last year. The Fighting Irish went on to capture the 2014 division title.
Elliot Diehl, Michael Peck and Tyr Abendschoen earned singles points for the winners, and Diehl and Peck teamed to clinch the victory by winning the No. 1 doubles match, 6-4, 6-1.
Nick Bartkowiak and Isaac Higgins won singles matches for York Catholic, and the two later combined to outlast Abendschoen and Dan Lee, 6-3, 5-7, (14-12) in the No. 2 doubles match.
"I felt we would have a little bit of an advantage if we got that third singles point because Elliot and Michael are the defending (York-Adams Class AA) doubles champs," O'Reilly said. "We were going to ride them home."
Peck said that winning his singles match gave him a psychological boost going into doubles.
"It was definitely good for my morale going into the doubles match," Peck said. "Attitude means so much in tennis. Having a good attitude can mean a world of difference."
Diehl and Peck won a hard-fought first set at No. 1 doubles before dominating the second set.
"We were getting adjusted in that first set, but they (York Catholic's Michael Andrews and Scott Bartkowiak) played well," Diehl said. "Doubles is less stressful (than singles). I have my partner (Peck) and we're good friends."
Diehl, displayed an outstanding touch around the net in Monday's match.
"He's great at volleying, and his serve and everything is good," Peck said. "I let him take charge to get the balls in play, and I'm starting to hit the ball harder than I did last year."
Diehl, who is planning to play at Goucher College next year, and the other three seniors in the Trojans' starting lineup want to close their final high school season with a title. By winning on Monday, the Trojans cleared a huge hurdle on the way to their goal.
"Our No. 5 (Abendschoen) pulled through today, and Michael pulled through in a long (singles) set, which was awesome," Diehl said. "It was a big win for us today. We were really excited."
Monday's match was the first of four the Trojans have scheduled this week. They also have Division II matches against Hanover, Susquehannock and Gettysburg.
"I don't want to say we expect to win, but we feel confident," Peck said. "Hopefully, we'll be on to team districts this year."
OTHER BOYS' TENNIS
South Western 5, Red Lion 2: At Red Lion, the Mustangs battled through singles with a trim, 3-2 lead before claiming the victory in a tough match at No. 1 doubles. The pair of Gavin Kenny and Ben Sentz teamed up to defeat Sam Innerst and Alec Shue, with each set going to a tiebreaker in a 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5) win that sealed things for the Mustangs. Sentz was also a winner in singles, defeating Shue, 6-0, 6-1. Innerst and Dylan Reichard collected the singles wins for Red Lion.
Dover 4, Northeastern 3: At Dover, the Eagles won the York-Adams Division I match in doubles, when Noah Shearer and Truman Metz combined to win the No. 2 doubles match in straight sets. The Eagles also received singles victories from Metz, Wyatt Crone and Luke Lightner. For the Bobcats, Logan Fries and Collin Wunsch each won a singles match.
Spring Grove 7, West York 0: At West York, the Rockets received singles victories from Grant Wierman, Andrew Bowman, Blake Harlacher, Kody Warner and Jeffrey Bauer to secure the win.
Bermudian Springs 6, Susquehannock 1: At Glen Rock, the Eagles received singles victories from Haoza Phutaemnin, Luke Wilkins, Tate Myers and Josh Stroup. For the Warriors, Devin Glispy won a singles match.
— Reach Dick VanO'Linda at email@example.com.