BY J. PATRICK EAKEN | MIRROR SPORTS — For the first time since 1986, the Maumee boys tennis team defeated Anthony Wayne, 3-2, in a Northern Lakes League match.
“I’ve told everyone, yes, we have had a great season, but for us to gain respect we have to get a win versus one of the big four in our league and today we did that,” said Panthers coach Ted Morse.
“Today’s dual match was a team victory, both on and off the tennis court.”
Maumee won all three singles matches, but the Generals took both doubles. At second singles, Gavin Yu won, 6-2, 6-3, over Logan Sutto.
“This was Gavin’s best performance of the season. He lost a really tough match versus Northview and today he took care of business,” Morse said.
At third singles, William Zheng lost his first set, 6-3, to Henry Diettrich but came back to take the next two sets and win the match, ultimately providing the difference in the dual.
“William is one of those players that every great team needs – a little attitude, sometimes on and off the court, and defiant when it comes to direction,” Morse said.
“(He is) truly one of those kids I like on my side, which is why I knew he would pull off the second and third sets.”
After that, the team dual match was tied 2-2 and it came down to Maumee junior Braden Tucker at first singles against AW’s Zack Conrad.
After winning the first set 7-5, Tucker fell behind in the second, eventually losing 6-1. Tucker won the third set, 6-4, giving the Panthers their biggest dual win in over 12 years.
“A couple of factors won us this match: First is the amazing support and team camaraderie that we have, everyone from the parents to the JV players, that come out to support us,” Morse said.
“Second is the amazing love and passion that my kids have for this game, from playing in the snow during winter to asking random people at the high school if they would like to hit.
“They just love playing. Braden Tucker put in a lot of hard work into his game during the offseason, and finally all of them are just believing.
“This is a really big win for our program and our team deserves to feel good about themselves.”
Anthony Wayne dominated doubles play, as Levi Woods and Noah Kovin defeated Stephen Suelzer and Zach Hawary, 6-0, 6-1; and Cameron Buraszeski and Daniel Froelich downed Jared Chen and Hyeongu Hawang, 6-0, 6-1.