YORK-ADAMS BOYS' TENNIS: South Western outlasts Dallastown in marathon to clinch tie for Division I title
HANOVER — The Dallastown and South Western boys' tennis teams flashed back to 2013 with their match on Wednesday.
Two years ago, the teams met, with sole possession of first place at stake, in a tension-filled showdown that began in daylight and ended under the lights.
The same scenario played out Wednesday when the teams traded shots for 4 1/2 hours. There was one difference, though, between 2013 and this year: the ending.
South Western, which fell short in the previous match, came out on top this time, 4-3, and clinched at least a tie for the York-Adams Division I championship. The Mustangs have one league match remaining, against Central York on Friday.
"They were the better team by a little bit," Dallastown coach Mark Koons said.
South Western's Gavin Kenny and Ben Sentz secured the deciding point when they rallied for a 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3) victory over Dallastown's John Schmitt and Sachin Venkatesh in the No. 1 doubles match.
Schmitt and Venkatesh saved two match points in the 10th game of the third set, but Kenny and Sentz wouldn't be denied, as they led the whole way in the tie-breaker.
"We worked a lot on doubles to be ready for this situation, but their guys hung tough," Koons said. "I think the key moment was when it was 4-4 in the second set, and we had two or three break points, but we weren't able to get one. We might have been able to close the match out right there (in the second set)."
Despite losing the first set, Kenny was confident that he and Sentz would still emerge on top.
"I didn't have any doubt that we would come back." Kenny said. "It was intense out there. Every year against Dallastown, the match is intense."
Sentz, Ben Harrison and Shane O'Reilly earned singles points for the Mustangs. O'Reilly, playing No. 5, delivered the clutch performance of the day when he scored a 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5) victory to give the Mustangs a 3-2 lead heading into doubles. O'Reilly, trailing 5-3 in the tie-breaker, scored the last four points of the match.
"He (O'Reilly) has only been playing two years," Kenny said. "He's the reason we won the match."
Schmitt and Hunter Jones took singles matches for Dallastown, and Jones joined with Tyler Lilie to capture the No. 2 doubles match.
"This is a great spot to be in to be competing under the lights against Dallastown," said South Western's first-year head coach Karen Cracium, who was a spectator at the 2013 match. "We've been working really hard at doubles because we know that Dallastown has outstanding doubles."
The Mustangs were able to clinch the victory at No. 1 doubles thanks to O'Reilly, who overcame a 5-2 deficit in the third set to win the No. 5 singles match.
"Shane, that was amazing," Cracium said. "He showed incredible heart."
OTHER BOYS' TENNIS
York Suburban 7, Susquehannock 0: At Suburban Elliot Diehl, Mike Peck, Dan Lee and Tyr Abendschoen won in singles and doubles for the Trojans, who clinched at least a tie for the York-Adams Division II title with the victory. The Trojans are 10-2 overall and 7-0 in the division.
Central 4, Red Lion 3: At Central, the Panthers captured the victory in doubles, when Connor Bacha and Austin Pokopec combined to win the No. 2 match in straight sets. Bacha, Jeremy Garling and Corey Caskey each also captured singles victories for the Panthers. For the Lions, Sam Innerst and Nick Stare each won a singles match.
New Oxford 6, West York 1: At New Oxford, the home team got straight-set singles victories from Joey Stiles, Mike Gruver, Josiah Forry, Mat Conrad and Dakota Melton. Noah Sanderson and Tim Pickard combined to win No. 2 doubles for the Bulldogs.
Spring Grove 7, Dover 0: At Spring Grove, Grant Wierman, Andrew Bowman and Kody Warner won in singles and doubles to power the Rockets.
York Catholic 7, Gettysburg 0: At Gettysburg, Michael Andrews, Scott Bartkowiak, Nick Bartkowiak, Isaac Higgins and Jacob Kondrashuk were all winners in singles play for the Irish.
— Reach Dick VanO'Linda at email@example.com.