For the Antigo Times
The last dual conference meet of the season for the Antigo tennis team was against its biggest foe – Rhinelander – and this one didn’t disappoint. The Red Robins and Hodags faced off across the nets and played some very competitive and entertaining tennis.
Though the Hodags won 5-2, most of the matches were very close.
Two of Antigo’s losses went three sets. At the top spot, Drew Schwarz played Logan Wild for the third time this season with every meeting going the distance, but this time Schwarz came up just short, loosing the final set in a tiebreaker that went 10-8. Both players put on a dazzling display of tennis that totally engaged the spectators.
The other three set loss was at No. 1 doubles, where the recently formed team of Tommy Blink and Andrew Turunen refused to lay down and gave the Rhinelander duo all they could handle. The duo was fun to watch as Turunen hustled all over the court, consistently closing points at the net while Blink was hitting a combination of defensive lobs and driving back spin ground strokes from the baseline.
Tyler Husnick got revenge on Marcus Johnson, who previously had beaten him in three sets. This time, Husnick closed out his opponent in just two sets. With dusk setting in, the No. 3 singles between Bartletti of Antigo and O’Melia of Rhinelander needed a third set as Bartletti couldn’t finish the second set and lost in a tiebreaker. The final set seesawed back and forth with neither player able to get more than a game lead. With all spectators watching and the sun having set, the two players fought for the victory in one final tie break that went extra innings. Ben fell behind 2-6, one point from defeat, but fought his way back to seal the deal 10-8.
“We lost the match, but the boys never quit. They left it all on the court and I was very proud of them,” Coach Dave Zalewski said afterwards.
Antigo plays Newman at Wausau on Thursday at 4:30 and competes in the conference meet at Rhinelander on Saturday.
RHINELANDER HIGH 5, ANTIGO HIGH 2
No. 1 — Logan Wild, RHINELANDER HIGH, def. Drew Schwarz, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6; No. 2 — Tyler Husnick, ANTIGO HIGH, def. Markus Johnson, 6-3, 6-3; No. 3 — Ben Bartletti, ANTIGO HIGH, def. Matt O’Melia, 6-2, 6-7, 7-6; No. 4 — Russell Benoy, RHINELANDER HIGH, def. Tanner Stueck, 6-4, 6-1.
No. 1 — Grant Gilbert-Jared Fabich, RHINELANDER HIGH, def. Tommy Blink-Andrew Turunen, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3; No. 2 — Jared Haug-Grant Gilbert, RHINELANDER HIGH, def. Brody Bunnell-Collin Schedlbauer, 6-3, 6-4; No. 3 — Marshall Bessette-Logan Oestrich, RHINELANDER HIGH, def. Cole Johnson-Jake Waters, 6-2, 6-1.