The Warren boys tennis team defeated Fairview, 3-2, on Friday at Betts Courts, marking the second intense Region 2 match-up between the teams in less than a week.
"This is the biggest win we've had in the past eleven years," said Warren coach Jeff Bartsch, whose Dragons are 12-0 overall. "Our guys were pumped up and they came out fighting today."
Warren fell, 3-2, last Saturday to the defending region champion Tigers, but accepted a forfeit a couple of days later due to player eligibility.
Times Observer photo by Allen Seybert
Warren second doubles teammates Grayson Foley, left, and Nathan Sandberg congratulate each other after scoring a key point during their match with Fairview Friday at Betts Park.
This time, on Warren's home court, the Dragons prevailed over Fairview for the first time since 1999.
In top singles, Shane Burns dropped a 4-6, 2-6 decision to former District 10 singles champ RJ Petrella.
"Shane battled hard," said Warren assistant coach Norm Dziendziel. "His game is now multi-dimensional, and his serving is fast and powerful."
Undefeated Matt Sandberg dropped the first set 6-7 (2-7) to Andrew Levin. In the second set, Sandberg was a bit more patient and came up with a 6-2 set. The third set was all Sandberg as he became more patient and waited for his openings, according to Bartsch. He scored a 6-2 third set win to tie the team score at one match all.
The top Dragon doubles team of Grayson Foley and Nate Sandberg cruised to a 6-4, 6-0 win for Warren to take a 2-1 lead. Liam Boger and Nick Tarpenning had a tough time getting to the net and dropped a painful 3-6, 3-6 match to Tris Tuttle and Jack Sundberg.
"Our boys were tentative and weren't aggressive today. This is one that shouldn't have gotten away," said Bartsch.
With the team score tied at 2-2, the match was in the hands of co-captain Thomas Pellegrino at second Singles.
Before a crowd of a couple hundred, the opening set went to Mexican exchange student Andres Flores in a tiebreaker 6-7 (2-7). The second set was all Pellegrino with a 6-3 set. At one set all, Pellegrino came out fighting hard in the third set, said Bartsch, and took a commanding 4-1 lead, breaking Flores twice.
At deuce in the sixth game of the set, Bartsch said Flores fell down during a long rally. Flores did not continue and Pellegrino was declared the winner of the singles match.
"This was by far the most exciting match of the season," said Bartsch. "For the team, Thomas, and all the tennis fans," added Jeff Bartsch. "Thomas played with a ton of heart today. We couldn't be more proud of this young man. He put it all out there as the senior co-captain played with patience, energy and tactical excellence today. What a great day for the Dragon tennis team."
This win puts the Dragons in first place in Region 2. Warren is now 12-0 on the season, 8-0 in region play. Warren will travel to Corry on Monday for a region match-up.