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Baltzell lifts Titans to a triumph

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No. 2 singles is decisive match

By Josh Cook

Collins’ Jared Baltzell didn’t know that his No. 2 singles match determined the outcome of the boys’ tennis crosstown showdown, but with Clear Creek Park getting dark Friday night and several spectators watching the eighth-grader admitted to feeling some nerves.

“There was a lot of pressure,” he said. “That was probably the most intense match I’ve played.”

Baltzell shook off that pressure, though, and beat Shelby County junior Andrew Clark 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) to win the match for the Titans.

“I didn’t know that,” Baltzell admitted afterward.

He probably didn’t know that Collins’ 3-2 victory over the Rockets was also its first in the series since the inaugural meeting between the two teams, which was decided by the same score on April 21, 2011.

Meanwhile the Shelby County girls won their third consecutive match over the Titans, beating them 4-1.

 

Boys

The Titans won all three singles matches against the Rockets, who played without senior Ethan Russell, their No. 1 singles player who missed the match due to a prior obligation. 

Collins’ victories at Nos. 1 and 3 singles came in third-set tiebreakers.

At No. 1, senior Luke Noel defeated Shelby junior Jimmy Welman 6-4, 1-6, 1-0 (10-5) and at No. 3 sophomore Tucker Judy outlasted Rockets sophomore Josh Barry 1-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-6).

Meanwhile in the decisive match Baltzell won the first set by three games, then had to rally from three games down in the second set.

"I got it back together with coach’s help,” Baltzell said of Collins Coach Keith Nethery.

In the tiebreaker, Baltzell won the first two points, and four of the first five. Clark rallied to tie it at 4-all, but Baltzell scored three of the next four to win the match.

Baltzell attributed the victory to “focus, just playing it point by point, not letting one point get me down.”

In the best match of the day, Shelby County senior Doug Martin and sophomore Jeron Russell outlasted Collins senior Derek Stivers and junior Cy Dutton 7-6 (7-5), 7-5 at No. 1 doubles.

“It was one we needed to win,” Jeron Russell said.

Martin and Russell, last spring became the first Shelby County doubles team to qualify for the state tournament in more than 15 years, were coming off a three-set loss to North Oldham’s Seth Wallace and David Kline the day before.

In the first set tiebreaker, Stivers and Dutton took a 3-2 lead before Martin and Russell, who were the No. 3-seeded team in last year’s 8th Region Tournament, scored four in a row – including a thrilling sixth point.

“It was back and forth and in the end we finally held it together,” Martin said.

At No. 2 doubles, Shelby County juniors Luke Dove and Michael Chen defeated Logan Noel and David Hormel 6-1, 6-1.

 

Girls

The Rockets’ victories came at Nos. 2 and 3 singles and in both doubles matches as Shelby County improved to 4-1 on the young season.

At No. 2 singles, junior Emalee Turley topped freshman Eliza Davis 6-4, 6-4. At No. 3 singles, seventh-grader Yohari Salama defeated freshman Ashton Schneider 6-0, 6-1.

In doubles, freshmen Rachel Dove and Kendall Souder defeated Brianna Suggs and Kayley Smith 6-1, 6-0 at No. 1 and juniors Jordan Rood and Melanie Roley topped Abigail Griggs and Madi Hurley 6-1, 6-2 at No. 2.

The Titans’ lone victory came at No. 1 singles, where junior Ashley Quinn outlasted Shelby County senior Hailey Coffey 4-6, 7-6, 7-5.

 

 

Boys

COLLINS 3, SHELBY COUNTY 2

Singles: No. 1 – Luke Noel (CHS) def. Jimmy Welman (SCHS) 6-4, 1-6, 1-0 (10-5); No. 2 – Jared Baltzell (CHS) def. Andrew Clark (SCHS) 6-3, 7-6 (7-5); No. 3 – Tucker Judy (CHS) def. Josh Barry (SCHS) 1-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-6).

Doubles: No. 1 – Doug Martin-Jeron Russell (SCHS) def. Derek Stivers-Cy Dutton (CHS) 7-6 (7-5), 7-5; No. 2 – Luke Dove-Michael Chen (SCHS) def. Logan Noel-David Hormel (CHS) 6-1, 6-1.

Girls

SHELBY COUNTY 4, COLLINS 1

Singles: No. 1 - Ashley Quinn (CHS) def. Hailey Coffey (SCHS) 4-6, 7-6, 7-6; No. 2 – Emalee Turley (SCHS) def. Eliza Davis (CHS) 6-4, 6-4; No. 3 – Yohari Salama def. Ashton Schneider (CHS) 6-0, 6-1.

Doubles:  No. 1 – Rachel Dove-Kendall Souder (SCHS) def. Brianna Suggs-Kayley Smith (CHS) 6-1, 6-0; No. 2 – Jordan Rood-Melanie Roley (SCHS) def. Abigail Griggs-Madi Hurley (CHS) 6-1, 6-2.