GA sophomore Jason Wang (left) tracks the flight of the ball as his doubles partner Fisher Rhodes takes a swing at it. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

by Tom Utescher

The weather last Monday afternoon was windy and definitely chilly for the second week of April, but it was a dry day, and that’s all the Germantown Academy tennis team needed to embark on a jaunt up Bethlehem Pike for a non-league match at Wissahickon High School.

After five of the seven contests were completed, the host Trojans held a 3-2 edge, but a win at fourth doubles tied the team score for the GA Patriots. Wissahickon won the last match on the courts though, and this victory at third doubles allowed the home team to prevail, 4-3.

In earlier action, the Patriots had beaten Friends Central, lost to Shipley School when they were missing their top player and succumbed to powerful Upper Dublin High School (whose coach, Lora Ball, coaches the GA girls in the fall). Wissahickon had opened its Suburban One League schedule with a victory against Springfield High School.

In singles play last Monday, Wissahickon junior Andrew Tran recorded scores of 6-2, 6-3, to capture the number one match over GA senior Edik Pribitkin.

The Patriots prevailed in the other two singles flights, though. Sophomore number two Alex Yang, who had been the only GA player to win against Upper Dublin, ground out a 7-6 (7-1), 6-3 victory over Trojans freshman Braedon Urzua. Senior Matt Rojas, co-captain of the Germantown Academy squad along with Pribitkin, knocked off Wissahickon junior Vidit Makwana at third singles, 6-4, 6-1.

It was a different story in the first two doubles matches to finish up, with the host Trojans taking the top two flights. Wissahickon juniors Connor Laux and Anthony Lee opened up at first doubles with a 6-3 win, but GA sophomore Jason Wang and senior Fisher Rhodes roared back to secure the second set, 6-0.

Playing second singles, GA sophomore Alex Yan lines up a backhand. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

The four players then settled in for a pitched battle in the third set, where the Trojan tandem eventually emerged victorious, 7-6 (7-5). In second doubles, two 6-3 sets carried sophomore Chris Leiter and freshman Rohan Mehta of the home team past GA juniors Grant Griswold and Jason Chee.

Wissahickon was one match away from clinching the team victory. Not so fast, said Germantown junior Kenny Gong and his fourth doubles partner, sophomore Rod Azizi. They were blanked 0-6 in the first set by Trojan 10th-graders Evan Borach and Anthony Recine, but they ramped up their game to win the second round, 6-2. Gong and Azizi then emerged on top in a 7-6 (9-7) third set to level the team score at 3-3.

The third doubles match was only a two-setter, but many long rallies caused it to be the last match out on the court. Patriot seniors Josh Felgoise and Reid Becker succumbed to sophomore Jack Recine and freshman Alex Yum in the first set, 7-6 (7-5). An early service break helped Recine and Yum build a 4-1 lead in the second set, and they went on to win it, 6-2.

UPDATE: GA was on the road again the following day, this time for the Inter-Ac Leage opener at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. With an altered second through fourth doubles line-up that added sophomore Luke Abraham into the mix, the Patriots won, 6-1. Saving SCH from a sweep was a victory at second doubles by junior Ehson Shirazi and eighth-grader David Lubell.

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