After suffering a tough, 4-3, two-point loss to Redeemer Christian Academy last week and a close loss to county favorite Vanguard early this week, the Dunnellon High School boys’ tennis team came up with a stunning come-from-behind victory, 4-3, at Lake Weir.
Earlier in the season, the Tigers beat the Hurricanes, 6-1, in a closer-than-the-score looks match at home, so the ‘Canes were looking for revenge.
Right off the bat, the Lake Weir team pulled off two upsets at No. 5 singles and No. 1 doubles to take a 2-0 match lead. The No. 2 doubles team of sophomores Maximus Bittinger and Ethan Slagle ran through their opponents 8-0 to make it 2-1.
In a hard-fought match, sophomore Mason Hanrahan lost 8-3 at No. 1 singles to bring the Hurricanes to needing only one individual match to clinch the team match. DHS boys’ tennis has never lost to LWHS. Down 3-1, the Tigers had to win all three of the remaining singles matches.
At No. 4 singles, the Lake Weir player and fans thought they had the match clinched, but someone forgot to tell DHS’ Ethan Slagle. Down 7-5 in an eight-game pro set, Slagle refused to lose and came all the way back to tie it at 7-all to force a tiebreaker. Seeing his Hurricane opponent disheartened, Slagle took full advantage and dominated the tiebreaker, winning 10-3.
Senior Robert Thomas won 8-2 to tie the team match at 3-all.
As darkness began to set in, DHS sophomore Cobie Gray defeated his Hurricane opponent 8-1 to clinch the team win. The team is now 4-3 and faced Forest High School earlier this week at home.
1s LWHS def. Mason Hanrahan, 8-3
2s Robert Thomas def. LWHS, 8-2
3s Cobie Gray def. LWHS, 8-1
4s Ethan Slagle def. LWHS, 8-7 (10-3 tiebreaker)
5s LWHS def. John Treat, 8-5
1d LWHS def. Hanrahan/Thomas, 8-2
2s Bittinger/Slagle def. LWHS, 8-0
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