FORT WAYNE – The outcome of the meet had been determined before 35 minutes had passed Friday, but the finals of the Carroll boys tennis sectionals were far from over.
Northrop sophomore Alex Stavretis battled on for another 90 minutes, fighting back from a 4-1 deficit in the second set before eventually falling to Carroll’s Ross Marano 6-0, 5-7, 6-0 at No. 1 singles.
The Chargers won all five matches to grab their fourth straight title at the meet.
I had to regroup and get my mindset back on things, Marano, a senior, said after he coughed up the second set.
I was trying to loosen myself. I was really tight. I just went back out there and tried to remember how I played in the first set, and that’s what I did.
Carroll’s No. 2 player, senior Luke Garrison, made quick work of sophomore Tyler Jordan, winning 6-0, 6-0. At No. 3 singles, sophomore Austin Legere defeated sophomore John Tuttle 6-0, 6-0.
There was a tough match at No. 1 doubles, where seniors Cody Chase and Cory Daman beat senior Brian York and sophomore Mike Ankenbruck 6-4, 6-4. At No. 2 doubles, senior Daniel Quade and junior Dillon Fernando beat seniors Isaiah Bledsoe and John Nguyen 6-0, 6-0.
Meanwhile, Stavretis just wouldn’t let down against Marano in the second set.
I thought he was really consistent in the second set, Marano said. He was hitting a lot more balls back in. I tried hitting to his backhand – thinking maybe his backhand was weaker – and he kept hitting everything back (in the second set).
After a long huddle with coach Kyle Stoffel, Marano was back in form in the third.
I said, We need a mental reset,’ Stoffel said. He got tight. I hadn’t said anything during the set because you don’t ask a guy if he’s tight while he’s playing because that will make him tighter. After the second set, I asked him where we were at. He said, I’m pretty tight.’ I said, Go take 10 and think about Hawaii or Florida, whatever you want to think about and then get back here.’
Now the Chargers can think about Tuesday’s regionals.