T-Birds hand Cats first loss in tennis

Tumwater’s doubles teams ensured that no mathematical equation would be necessary to determine the outcome of Aberdeen’s latest boys tennis match.

The T-Birds swept the doubles to down the Bobcats, 4-2, in an Evergreen 2A Conference contest Monday at the Sam Benn Courts.

This was Aberdeen’s first loss in three starts this season. The Bobcats had won the other two on sets-won tiebreakers after the six matches were split.

All three T-Bird doubles teams won in straight sets, with the first two surrendering only three games. The decisiveness of those matches essentially decided the outcome, as the Bobcats had little chance to better the visitors in sets or games won even had they pulled out all three singles.

The Cats did, however, fare well in singles.

Sophomore Cole Edwards impressively breezed past Adam Golden in the second singles, 6-1, 6-2.

“He has a way of making his opponent play his game and he really took him out of his game today,” AHS coach Andy Duffy said of Edwards. “He’s focused on the court.”

Aberdeen’s Dominic Salick swept the final three games to outlast Elliot Peterson in the third singles, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.

A finesse player who nevertheless approaches the net with a fair amount of frequency, Salick put away a drop shot to reach match point and closed out the contest when Peterson netted a service return.

Tumwater’s Zach Drake monopolized the big points in downing Dillon Rowe, 6-1, 6-4, in the No. 1 singles.

Scrambling nicely to keep points alive, particularly with some well-placed lobs, Rowe was much more competitive in this match than the score indicated. Drake, a southpaw who compensates for a modest serve with a powerful topspin forehand and a strong net game, fought off numerous break points in both sets to prevail.

After Drake saved two such break points to go up 3-2 in the second set, he broke Rowe at love in the sixth game. Rowe promptly put Drake in a 0-40 hole, but the Tumwater ace wound up surviving six break points to hold serve for a 5-2 lead.

The Aberdeen senior stayed alive by holding serve and then breaking Drake for the only time in the match.

Drake, however, snapped a 30-all tie in the 10th game by bouncing an overhead off the court and over a boundary fence, then teed off on a second serve at match point with a forehand return that Rowe couldn’t handle.

The Bobcats travel to Chehalis on Wednesday.

Zach Drake (T) def. Dillon Rowe, 6-1, 6-4; Cole Edwards (A) def. Adam Golden, 6-1, 6-2; Dominic Salick (A) def. Elliot Peterson, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3; Ryan Gudbranson-Ryan Padgett (T) def. John Solan-Eddie Yi, 6-0, 6-1; Nathan Eliason-Cole Holbrook (T) def. Devan Harke-Charlie Dietrich, 6-1, 6-1; Jerad Stottlemyre-James Icenogle (T) def. Jacob Cooper-Reilly Fairchild, 7-6, 7-4.