At West Port High School last week, the Dunnellon High School boys’ tennis team pulled the upset of the young tennis season by beating the two-time defending Marion County champion Wolf Pack, 4-3.

In a seesaw match, the Tigers came out fast by splitting the doubles matches and picking up a win in singles. Sophomore Maximus Bittinger earned the first team point by upending his opponent, 8-2, in No. 5 singles.

Next, the sophomore tandem of Cobie Gray and Ethan Slagle combined to win a highly competitive number No. 2 doubles match, 8-5. This surprising result gave the Tigers confidence going into the remaining singles matches.

Down 2-1, the defending champions won the next two matches at No. 1 and No. 2 singles to take a 3-2 team lead. Needing only one match to clinch with two to play, the Wolf Pack seemed ready to pounce.

Instead, DHS’ Ethan Slagle defeated his opponent at No. 4 singles, 8-4, to tie the match at 3 all. This left it up to the No. 3 player, Cobie Gray, to win the decider to give the Tigers the stunning upset. Early on, it looked bleak for the DHS team as Gray went down quickly 4-1.

The young Tiger found his form, however, and only lost one game en route to clinching the deciding point, 8-5, and the team victory over the defending county champion Wolf Pack.

This year’s team members are Robert Thomas, Mason Hanrahan, Cobie Gray, Ethan Slagle, Maximus Bittinger, John Treat, and Jose Schwarz. If you happen to see any of these great student-athlete kids, please make sure to congratulate them on this big team win. It was DHS boys’ tennis first-ever win against West Port.

DHS next played at Lake Weir High School on Wednesday.

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