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  • Val T.

Rochester boys tennis sweeps Maconaquah, improves to 2-4 in TRC

Dunwoody learning to play with splint, 4 different partners at No. 1 doubles


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

The Rochester boys tennis team lost only two games in four completed matches and also won the No. 3 singles match by forfeit in a 5-0 win against shorthanded Maconaquah at the RHS courts Thursday.

Tanner Reinartz won at No. 1 singles over Landon Adams 6-0, 6-1. Robert Bozzo blanked Zach Duke 6-0, 6-0 at No. 2 singles. Ashton Musselman won by forfeit at No. 3 singles.

Wade Bowers and Harrison Dunwoody won their No. 1 doubles match 6-0, 6-0, and Carter Merideth and Jack Reffett won their No. 2 doubles match 6-1, 6-0.

None of the four completed matches lasted longer than 40 minutes.

Rochester was coming off a 5-0 rout of Whitko on Wednesday that was also done in less than an hour.

“The last two days have been against a little weaker competition,” Rochester coach Mason Heyde. “But really, over the last two weeks, my singles players have played really well. They got some wins against Wabash, Lewis Cass and Manchester. We’re strong in the singles, and I think honestly, Wade and Dunwoody have been playing well together on the doubles side. But singles-wise, we’re strong. They move the ball around really well, hit good, hard groundstrokes to corners and really just dictate points.”

Dunwoody has had four different partners at No. 1 doubles. Brady Morgan started the year at No. 1 doubles with him, but Morgan is out with a left arm injury, and Merideth and Reffett have also seen time with Dunwoody before Bowers on Thursday.

“I think in my experience, the shorter players play better,” Dunwoody said. “I’m not choosing favorites, but Brady will always hold a special place in my heart. He has more experience, more game experience, and that always helps.”

Maconaquah is fielding a squad this year after not fielding a squad last year.

“I think I played very adequate would be the right word – not good, not bad, very adequate,” Dunwoody said. “Those kids weren’t the best, so I think we held our ground.”

Two of Dunwoody’s older siblings – Andrew and Clair – also played tennis at Rochester, but Harrison said that he did not learn how to play until meeting former Rochester coach Jesse Atkinson and later current coach Mason Heyde.

He’s learning how to play doubles while wearing a splint on his right wrist. He said he hurt the wrist while dunking a basketball about a month-and-a-half ago. He said the thought of missing tennis season “terrified” him. Dunwoody is left-handed, which affects his backhand side more than his forehand.

“I was up at night because I couldn’t fall asleep because I was thinking, ‘If I can’t play tennis, what do I do? Manage?’” Dunwoody said. “I went to talk to Christina (Hughes, certified athletic trainer), and then we were talking about how I could play, if I just couldn’t hit backhands, yada yada, and then the next practice after I got the splint, I played for a little bit, and then I realized I can serve, I can hit a backhand, I can do everything about as fine as it was.”

Bowers, who is right-handed, has played with Merideth and Dunwoody, who are both left-handed. Bowers, a sophomore, has played tennis since he was a sixth-grader, but he said he had played barely any doubles prior to this year.

“They were both left-handed, so that helped,” Bowers said of his partners. “And they can serve away from the sun, so that helped. Their backs are facing towards the sun, so I don’t have to look into the sun when I serve, so I can do it better.”

Returning serves is a challenge unique to doubles. The opponent typically has a player stationed at the net, so if the returner hits it at the net man, it usually results in an easy volley for the opponent. So Bowers has had to learn to keep it away from that player.

“I’m pretty good at it, I think,” Bowers said. “I either just hit over the guy or hit it to the corner.”

Results: Rochester 5, Maconaquah 0

Singles

Tanner Reinartz (RHS) def. Landon Adams (MAC), 6-0, 6-1

Robert Bozzo (RHS) def. Zach Duke (MAC), 6-0, 6-0

Ashton Musselman (RHS) wins by forfeit.

Doubles

Wade Bowers-Harrison Dunwoody (RHS) def. Christopher-Selleck (MAC), 6-0, 6-0

Carter Merideth-Jack Reffett (RHS) def. Batista-Snyder (MAC), 6-1, 6-0


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