Archive for Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Firebirds’ new duo dandy

April 13, 2005

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Free State High's No. 1 doubles team of Jack Hull and Drew Schelar had to warm up to more than the chilly weather Tuesday.

The pair had to warm up to each other.

In their first-ever doubles pairing, the sophomores won two of three matches and helped the Firebirds to a team victory in a quad at FSHS.

"Since we'd never played together before, we weren't used to each other's styles," Hull said. "Once the day progressed, we started to play a lot better."

After dropping the opening match to an experienced Olathe Northwest tandem, Hull and Schelar rebounded to defeat Seaman's Tyler Nelson and Kyle Crenshaw, 8-1, and Miege's Mark Koegel and Jim Grindley, 8-5, to finish the day with a 2-1 mark.

"As sophomores, they're certainly developing and getting more experience," Free State coach Jon Renberger said. "Confidence is really the key for them. They both have good shots, but both are still learning how to play sound doubles. As they get more aggressive and hit through their shots more confidently, I think they have the potential to be a very good team."

After being frustrated with his doubles teams in Monday's dual against Lawrence High, Renberger couldn't compliment his pairs enough after Tuesday's strong outings.

The No. 2 doubles team of Nick Martinez and Zack Morgenstern also finished with a 2-1 record, losing only a tiebreak match to Olathe Northwest's Anish Patel and Charlie Collins.

"These guys hadn't played with these partners until today, and they didn't even know that until today. It was literally a last-minute combination," Renberger said. "For each doubles team to go 2-1, I thought, was a good sign."

Free State earned the quad victory, posting nine total wins. Olathe Northwest finished second with seven points, and Seaman and Miege tied for third with four wins.

Keith Pipkin won his only singles match for the Firebirds, defeating Olathe Northwest's Alex Graves, 8-1.

Charles Guard posted a 2-1 record at both No. 1 and No. 2 singles, and Stephen Donly stepped into the No. 2 singles position and won two matches.

The quad almost began as a tri. Miege's bus was 20 minutes late after the team had trouble replacing players.

Today continues what has been a busy week for Free State, as the team travels to Blue Valley for a dual -- its third meet in as many days.

"It makes for a tough period physically and psychologically," Renberger said, "but we're obviously doing very well."

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