by Brian Hoffman
The Salem High tennis teams were busy last week as both the boys and girls had three matches. The boys lost two close ones around a win over Cave Spring while the girls went 2-1.
The boys lost to Pulaski County, 5-4, on April 19, as both teams fought hard on a very cold
and windy afternoon, competing for four hours as Pulaski only has four courts. The singles matches were split 3-3, with Cole Maggi winning at number three and James Convery at number four. The third point came from tenth grader Cooper Davis who notched his first singles victory. The outcome was decided at third doubles, a 9-7 pro set with Aidan Poush and Convery coming up short.
Salem won 8-1 at Cave Spring last Thursday. Salem swept the doubles, with partners Aaron Peters and Joren Poush, as well as the duo of Aidan Poush and Convery, staging comebacks to win 9-7.
Last Friday at home Salem dropped another 5-4 match, this time to Patrick Henry. The highlight was a huge upset at number one singles with Aaron Peters, capturing a decisive 10 point tiebreaker, 10-3.
“Peters stepped up to number one this year after Salem’s top four graduated,” said coach Steve Willinger. “ This was the match that signaled that Aaron has improved enough to compete with the top echelon of the area’s competition.”
Cooper Davis and Aidan Poush won at numbers 5 and 6 singles, to send the match into the doubles tied at 3-3. After splitting the first two doubles contests, Peters and Joren Poush battled to split sets with the PH number one pair. As the sunlight faded, PH edged ahead to take the 10-7 breaker and garner the win the deciding point.
The girls shut out Pulaski in their match in Salem. Singles winners were Lauren Baba, Claire Rawlins, Caroline Loveday, Morgan Tobey, Zoe Prosser and Emma Johnson. Doubles winners were the teams of Baba and Rawlins, Loveday and Tobey and Prosser and Johnson. As a team Salem outscored the Cougars 72-18 in games.
The same lineup beat Cave Spring 8-1. Salem swept the singles and only the second doubles team lost. Then, on Friday, Salem lost at Patrick Henry, 6-3. Rawlins, Loveday and Prosser all won their singles matches but PH swept the doubles.
Salem’s teams will take on Hidden Valley on Friday with the girls at home and the boys at Hidden Valley. They were scheduled to play Christiansburg on Tuesday but results were too late for publication.