Eaton’s tennis team finished its season with a 6-13 record, an improvement over last year.
“In the Southwestern division of SWBL, we ended up placing 5th overall when you factor in our head-to-head matchups, plus the tournament results,” Coach John Hitchcock said.
“In the SWBL tournament we tied Brookville for fourth but they nudged us out of 4th overall by one point. Everybody was able to place and both of our doubles teams managed 4th place finishes in the tourney,” he added.
“I was pleased with everybody’s performances and was happy to see our first singles player Austin Mendenhall get a win over an opponent who had beaten him earlier in the year. That helped propel him to a 5th place finish.
“On the flip side, our 3rd singles player, Richard Coggeshall, had a tough three-set loss to a strong player from Franklin whom he had beaten earlier in the season. Both matches went three sets, so the two players were very evenly matched up.
“Our first doubles team of Michel Mckelvin and Logan Islamovsky brought home Honorable Mention,” he added.
The tourney was held at Thomas Cloud Park on Wednesday, May 7.
At the sectionals tournament, the Eagles had a little tougher time.
The first doubles team of Michel Mckelvin and Logan Islamovosky were the only ones to get out of the first round. They beat a Stivers team 6-3, 6-3 and then lost a heartbreaker, three-set match against Chaminade Julienne, 4-6, 6-4, 1-6.
“After a slow start in the first set they came back and had a real chance to close it out in their favor,” Hitchcock said. “CJ hung in there and kept that from happening. Michel and Logan finished the regular season at 10-9, a very respectful showing considering the level of competition we face and especially since this is only Logan’s second year of playing tennis. Both are seniors.
“Our second doubles team was the youngsters of the team.”
Blake Melling and Nathan Hatmaker, both sophomores, faced a competitive Xenia Christian team and lost in straight sets, 3-6, 2-6. They finished out the year with a regular season record of 7-10.
“Our singles players faced some stronger opponents in the first round and did not fair too well,’ Hitchcock said.
Austin Mendenhall, a senior, lost to Xenia Christian 1-6, 1-6, and finished the regular season at 2-17.
“I commend Austin on his playing throughout the year. It’s not always easy taking on every school’s best player. He’s the reason we had some success in other areas,” Hitchcock said.
“Clayton Stoner, a senior, filled in admirably and lost to Miami Valley 1-6, 0-6. Clayton played very well and put up a strong fight.”
Coggeshall drew Oakwood in the first round and lost 0-6, 0-6.
“The problem with tennis, is there are times when the set scores do not give a real indication of the match and this is one of those times,” Hitchcock said. “Ricky played some very good points and had game point on his racket a half dozen times or so. It was a very competitive match that just didn’t go his way.
Coggeshall, a senior, finished with a 7-11 record and played very well at the third singles position. “There were several times during the course of the season that the match would come down to him winning or losing and he handled that pressure pretty well when we did decide to tell him,” Hitchcock said.
“Overall we finished the season with a 6-13 record. One win better than the previous year. We didn’t reach all or our goals, so that still gives us something to shoot for next year,” Hitchcock said. “But from a coaching perspective, there is one thing that I am happy with, and that is the fact that the quality of tennis played this year compared to last year was vastly improved across the board. So hopefully we’re doing the right things. However, this team of ten total player consisted of eight seniors. That’s a lot of shoes to fill. So now we need some bodies.”