Cheney High boy’s tennis coach Jesse Erickson predicted his team would face some tough opposition when they entered Great Northern League play, particularly against Clarkston, and he was right.
The Blackhawks edged the Bantams in a close match, 4-3, April 15, three days after they swept East Valley, 7-0.
Cheney’s singles and doubles fired on all cylinders against the Knights. Ryan Axtell, No. 1 singles, defeated Josh Lee (6-2, 6-2) while Mason Van Stone, No. 2, won his match against Bryce Pointer (6-2, 6-0).
“Ryan came out blasting in that match, everything is starting to click for him” Erickson said. “As for Mason, he’s been able to pick apart his opponent’s weaknesses.”
Brandon Foster, No. 3, shut out Josh Fraser (6-0, 6-0) as did Shogo Starr, No. 4, who defeated Matthew Pinyerd (6-0, 6-0).
Adam Passey and Luke Huguenin, No. 1 doubles, came back from a one-set deficit to defeat Eli Holicek and Garrett Crothers (3-6, 6-4, 6-4). Hayden Bennett and Aaron Fillmore, No. 2, won their match against Gage Edens and Zach Hansen (6-4, 6-1). No. 3 Dirk Ray and Aleksandr Chernega defeated Justin Patterson and Dalton Schulz (6-0, 7-6, 7-5 tiebreaker).
Cheney’s doubles teams carried their momentum into the Clarkston match. No. 1 Passey and Huguenin defeated Lain Goin and Logan Lookabill (6-2, 6-2) while Bennett and Fillmore, No. 2, won their match against Dakota Goad and Dustin Starr (6-2, 6-3). No. 3 Ray and Chernega kept their winning streak intact after their victory over Gabe Webber and Patrick West (6-4, 6-0).
“Our doubles were solid this week, particularly Luke and Adam,” Erickson said. “Adam played the best he has so far this season and Luke was very aggressive at the net.”
With the score tied 3-3, No 4 Starr clinched the match point for the Blackhawks after he defeated Colton Tenwick (6-3, 6-2).
“It came down to Shogo, as it usually does,” Erickson said. “He’s been solid for us this season.”
The Blackhawks (2-0 GNL, 8-0) are at the top of the league standings. They played Pullman (1-0, 8-0) on the road, April 19, in what Erickson said is “going to be a tough battle.” They’ll travel to West Valley to play the Eagles (0-2, 1-4), April 21.
“We’re looking strong right now and we’ve just got to keep improving,” Erickson said.