September 26, 2012 - Dan Agnew and Jeff Zittel battled on the court against Rochester's Ryan Wu and Sathya Narayanan last Thursday.
Joey Whall returns Rochester's serve. Photo by Larry Wright (click for larger version)
If they won, the team would top Rochester in the OAA White battle. By the time the match was done, Agnew and Zittel won the Doubles #3 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-3, putting Clarkston 5-4 for the win.
"I really appreciated Dan and Jeff," said Clarkston Boys Varsity Tennis Coach Chas Claus. "They knew it was win or lose for themselves and the team. They accepted the pressure on their shoulders, and they carried the team to victory."
The players in the singles courts swept their side of the meet with Matt Dahl defeating Torre Rocco, 6-4, 6-1; Ian Stuart defeating Collin Peroskh, 7-5, 6-2; Brendan Greenlee defeating Mike Sepeta 7-6, (7-5), 6-3; and Alexis Haselwanter defeating Ananth Ramaseshan, 6-0, 6-1.
"It has been several years since we have done that and had that kind of depth at singles," said Claus. "Our singles players did a nice job and took care of business. Three of our doubles matches were close. Rochester always has strong doubles. I thought going in if we swept singles we might be able to pull off one or two doubles matches. It is exactly how it worked out."
The win brought Clarkston up to 7-3 and 4-1 in the OAA White.
"I was very excited about the win over Rochester," Claus added. "They are a regional and league opponent. We see them several times a year. They have gotten the better of our matchups in the last couple of years, so I was thrilled with the victory."
The boys also defeated Fenton, 8-0.
For singles Dahl defeated Mitch Campbell 6-2, 3-1, retired; Stuart defeated Mazzen Saab 6-2, 6-1; Greenlee defeated Bailey Gauss 6-0, 6-2; Haselwanter defeated Neelesh Peddireddy 6-0, 6-1.
For doubles, Joey Whall and Johnny Whall defeated Jack Pooler and Joe Foguth 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-3; Mitch Rogowski and Scott Schultz defeated Christian Cryer and Parker Cislo 6-1, 6-0; Ray Coyle and Jeff Zittel defeated Landon Mikulenas and Noah Rachor 6-4, 6-2; and Sean McNeil and Tyler Socin defeated Jake Martin and Mitch Koch 6-3, 7-5.
"We have never played Fenton before in a dual," said Claus. "We played well, and we won big. They are usually pretty solid."
He added Coyle and Zittel played well together especially since it was the first time they played together.
"I was really proud with the subs," Claus said. "They had a really nice match. Up and down the lineup I was just pleased. We took care of business."
The boys headed into a busy week as they opened with league leader Birmingham Seaholm on Monday.
They travel to Rochester Adams on Thursday.
"They are a team usually a step or two ahead of us," said Claus. "Both competitions are a good way to measure ourselves if we want to be among the elite teams in the area. They are teams we haven't usually beat but we need to become competitive. We welcome the challenge of getting to play them."
They head to the Romeo Invitational this Saturday. The Wolves are two time defending champions.
"We haven't run away with it every year but it carries with it the target of everyone wanting to catch you," said Claus. "We look forward to playing the other role everyone else is shooting for. Hopefully we can win it again."
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.