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  • Val T.

Reinartz advances in singles tournament, but Rochester falls to Manchester

BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

Tanner Reinartz

PERU — Playing without two injured doubles players, the Rochester boys tennis team suffered a season-ending loss to Manchester in a sectional semifinal at Thrush Courts Thursday.

Manchester earned the 3-2 win by winning No. 3 singles and both doubles matches. Rochester’s points came from Tanner Reinartz at No. 1 singles and Robert Bozzo at No. 2 singles.

Rochester finishes 8-7, but Reinartz’s season will continue in the state singles tournament at Peru on Tuesday after beating Manchester’s Josh Steely 6-1, 6-2. His opponent and the start time will be announced at a later date.

Bozzo pulled out a 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 win over Payton Jones.

With the match tied 2-2, it came down to No. 2 doubles. Jonas Kiser, who was filling in for Carter Meridith, and Jack Reffett pulled out a second set tiebreak to force a third set and led 4-3 in the third set before Manchester’s Owen Harshman and Sammy Lambert won the final three games and the match 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-4.

Meridith suffered a broken foot earlier in the week. Kiser, who like Meridith is left-handed, offered a strong net presence. With Reffett encouraging Kiser – “good shot, Jo!” – during points while showing off an accurate forehand, they got to within two games of a win after dropping the first set.

A narrow out call on game point in the ninth game of the third set gave Harshman and Lambert a 5-4 lead, and they broke Kiser’s serve to close out the match.

Manchester also won at No. 1 doubles when Cole Henderson and Connor Trump won 6-0, 6-1 over Wade Bowers and Harrison Dunwoody. Bowers was filling in for Brady Morgan, who was out with an arm injury.

“Manchester has a very solid one doubles team, and we’ve just struggled in that spot this year with so many injuries,” Heyde said. “We’ve got two doubles guys out, and Harrison’s playing with a broken wrist. So it’s been a tough season for one dubs.”

Reinartz again showed off his serve-and-volley game, overpowering Manchester’s Josh Steely with groundstrokes and often finishing points with overheads.

“He was in the zone, especially early on,” Heyde said. “He got ahead early and put foot to the pedal and lost a few games early in that second set but won six in a row.”

Manchester was ahead 2-1 after Caleb Struble-Hendstrom beat Ashton Musselman 6-2, 6-2 at No. 3 singles.

“He battled,” Heyde said of Musselman. “From the points I watched, he was playing well. The other kid just kept the ball in play and didn’t make as many mistakes.”

Bozzo said he had been suffering from bronchitis all week and frequently felt winded.

“I knew I was going to play,” Bozzo said. “I was going to tough through it and make sure I could play. … A lot of soreness and tightness in the chest. It just hurt to breathe, and I got gassed really easily.”

He said that after falling behind in the second set, he let Jones win the last game in order to conserve energy. His strategy paid off as Bozzo pulled out difficult points filled with long rallies.

“I had big confidence about the third set, so I sold the second set just because I was down 0-5, so I could go ahead and take over from there.”

Bozzo also plays for Heyde in the spring on the golf team.

“It’s great,” Bozzo said. “He’s very fun. We talk. He’s my golf coach, so we’re close. It was really fun. He loves to do fun things at practice like play music and stuff but at the same time be serious.”

In the other semifinal, Peru beat Wabash 5-0. Peru will play Manchester at 5:15 p.m. today in the sectional final. Peru is in search of their sixth consecutive sectional title.

Results: Manchester 3, Rochester 2

Singles

Tanner Reinartz (RHS) def. Josh Steely (MAN), 6-1, 6-2

Robert Bozzo (RHS) def. Payton Jones (MAN), 6-3, 1-6, 6-4

Caleb Struble-Hedstrom (MAN) def. Ashton Musselman (RHS), 6-2, 6-2

Doubles

Cole Henderson-Connor Trump (MAN) def. Wade Bowers-Harrison Dunwoody (RHS), 6-0, 6-1

Owen Harshman-Sammy Lambert (MAN) def. Jonas Kiser-Jack Reffett (RHS), 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-4


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