Tennis teams get into the swing of spring

By Julia Green
The Margaretville Central School tennis team will be looking to combine returning talent, new talent and borrowed talent when the tennis season gets underway this week.
In addition to key returners James Warner, Michelle O’Reilly and Alex Ramos, Andes student-athletes Eric Reed and Sage Beemer will join the MCS tennis ranks, where Head Coach Jim Owdienko anticipates they will battle for the top two positions.
“I think they’re going to make everyone else better, no doubt about it,” Owdienko said of the two, who were scheduled to compete in their first match against Charlotte Valley yesterday.
In the Blue Devils’ first match of the season against Roxbury last week, eighth-grader James Warner played in the No. 1 spot; however, Owdienko is looking for him to gain experience playing in the No. 3 or No. 4 spot this season.
“We expect a lot out of him,” he said. “It’ll give him a chance to pull out some wins and not get crushed by juniors and seniors at the No. 1 spot.”
In doubles competition, junior Tyler Smith and senior Marcus Moore will compete at the No. 1 doubles position, while returning duo Garrett Johnson and Adam Van Valkenburgh will play No. 2 doubles. Seniors Greg Lehn and Javier Martinez will also rotate in as a doubles team, while sophomore Genesis Quinones will alternate into the singles rotation.
“It’ll be unusual this year,” Owdienko said. “I’m going to give some people some matches that might not usually have a chance to play.”
The Blue Devils posted an 8-4 record last spring, but Owdienko anticipates an even stronger showing this year.
“We lost to Roxbury, but I don’t think we’re losing any more,” he said. “I just think with the addition of [Beemer and Reed], it’s going to make all the difference in the world. James and Michelle will probably be favored in every match after this.
“We should win every one and we should win the league, but you never know what Hunter and Windham have in store,” he added. “They’re going to be our toughest opponents.”
Roxbury already on a roll
Roxbury swept the singles matches and Margaretville took two of two doubles match-ups when the Rockets and the Blue Devils met in the first tennis match of the spring last Tuesday.
The Rockets were led by Kevin Lutz at No. 1 singles. Lutz defeated Margaretville’s James Warner 10-8. Roxbury also earned wins at No. 2 and No. 3 singles, as Christian Schor defeated Michelle O’Reilly 9-3 and Jon Dykstra defeated Alex Ramos 9-2. The Rockets’ Josh Riely defeated Margaretville’s Javier Martinez 9-5 at No. 4 singles while teammate Marina Eignor posted a 9-4 win over the Blue Devils’ Genesis Quinones at No. 5 singles.
In the doubles bracket, Margaretville’s Tyler Smith and Marcus Moore defeated Roxbury’s Tiffany Faulkner and Garrett Hinkley 9-3, while the Blue Devil duo of Adam Van Valkenburgh and Garrett Johnson posted a 9-1 win over Erin Hubbell and Kaitlynne Peters.
The Rockets continued their success on Monday, when they posted a 7-0 win over the host Indians of Stamford.
Lutz posted a 9-0 win over Stamford’s Adam Finklestein at No. 1 singles while Schor defeated Ben Bradshaw 9-2 at No. 2 singles. Brittney Bell earned the win for the Rockets at No. 3 singles, posting a 9-1 win over Stamford’s Tess Meehan, while Eignor earned the win over Jamie Messenger, 9-0, at No. 4 singles. Dykstra completed the sweep of the singles matches, posting a 9-1 win over Stamford’s Emily Wright at No. 5 singles.
In doubles competition, Tiffany Faulkner and Josh Riely posted a 9-3 win over Stamford’s Toni Devine and Zac Foote, while the Rockets’ Joe McAfee and Garrett Hinkley defeated Andrea Braun and Cristy Reed 9-2.
Roxbury was scheduled to face the visiting Warriors of Windham on Tuesday; no result was available at press time. They will travel to play the host Wildcats of Charlotte Valley next Tuesday.
The Blue Devils were scheduled to face the host Wildcats of Charlotte Valley on Tuesday; no result was available at press time. They will host the visiting Warriors of Windham at 4:15 p.m. on Thursday.