Big Reds tennis sweeps Williamstown

WILLIAMSTOWN – The Williamstown tennis program doesn’t back down to anyone, and on Tuesday afternoon the Yellowjackets went toe-to-toe with Parkersburg for the second time in a span of eight days.

On the girls side, the outcome turned out exactly the same as the Big Reds shut out the Yellowjackets 7-0. PHS No. 1 singles player Cassandra Powell dropped just one point while defeating Ali Hoffman 8-0. Earlier in the day, Powell and No. 1 doubles teammate Alex Olson lost the first game against Hoffman and doubles partner Megan Sayre before ripping off the final eight games.

“I actually played really well today – I don’t think I’ve ever won a match where I’ve given up only one point,” Powell said. “I was really on and playing my game. My strokes felt fluid and natural.”

In the boys division, Big Reds No. 1 singles player Alexander D’Costa had an easier time in terms of score after disposing of Luke Flanagan 8-2. D’Costa, who needed a tiebreaker to get past the Yellowjacket senior last week, set the tone from the outset by winning the first three games.

“Luke hits a lot of winners and has a great forehand,” D’Costa said. “He has good groundstrokes, and he can do that all day long.”

Earlier in doubles, D’Costa and Flanagan stood on opposite sides of the net. Williamstown’s Flanagan and Aaron Leo knocked off D’Costa and Tris Spitsnaugle last week and nearly rallied from a 5-2 deficit before dropping an 8-6 decision.

“Today was not the best day,” Flanagan said. “Alexander just played well in singles and I had an off day.

“In doubles, they really wanted revenge. We tried to do the same thing we did last time, but they hit great shots and played a great match.”

Leo prevented Williamstown from getting blanked after he handed Spitsnaugle an 8-6 defeat at No. 2 singles. Leo remained unbeaten in singles at 14-0.

“I’ve been working hard and trying to get ready for states,” Leo said. “I’ve had some really tough matches, especially with those triple-A schools. As far as playing Tris, he is a great player and we definitely match up well when we play. It’s always a long match.”

His younger brother, Ryan Leo, was perfect in singles as well until Big Reds’ Neema Saadevandi broke through for an 8-5 victory at No. 3 singles. Rounding out the results in boys singles was birthday boy Rhone Thrash. The junior turned 17 years old and walked off with a pair of wins – first at No. 4 singles with an 8-2 win against Muhammad Kingsen.

Thrash and Saadevandi apparently had their No. 2 doubles match in hand with Ryan Leo and Kingsen before the Yellowjacket duo forced a tiebreaker at 8-8. The Big Reds eventually prevailed 7-4 in the tiebreaker.

Completing the sweep in doubles for PHS was the No. 3 pair of Josh Roberts and Landon Wells who defeated Garrett Wilson and Andrew McGuffy 8-1.

Accounting for the singles wins for PHS in the girls division were Sydney Stansberry 8-0 against Sayre; Katie Gnegy 8-2 against Ellie Erb; and Olson 8-0 against Emily Boyd.

The Big Reds’ No. 2 doubles team of Stansberry and Gnegy defeated Erb and Boyd 8-0, while at No. 3 doubles Verena Hohe and Ashley Casto won by default.