Dragons cross state lines before outlasting McDowell

The Warren top doubles pair of, from left, Ben Scott (returning) and Jack Lynds earned a straight-set win over McDowell on Tuesday in the Dragons’ 3-2 non-region team victory. Photo by Mark Evans

LAKEWOOD, N.Y. — Starting at Betts Park and finishing at the Lakewood Family YMCA due to late rain, Warren’s boys tennis team outlasted McDowell 3-2 on Tuesday in a nonregion home match.

“Today’s match was a bit of a roller coaster as we had many matches go three sets and, to make it more interesting, halfway through, we actually had to be moved to the Lakewood YMCA due to rain,” said Warren coach Thomas Pellegrino. “We were playing without our third singles player as he was out sick, so the boys knew everyone needed to step up today. All players that were forced to play up a spot fought hard and were able to come out on top when we needed them most.”

At first singles, Warren’s Abe Wolf lost to Noah Hardesty 6-2, 5-7, 4-6.

“This was a high-quality tennis match with both players exchanging great points,” said Pellegrino. “We had our chances early, but Noah was able to pick up his game towards the end of the second set and didn’t let up.”

At second singles, Adam Strandburg lost to Gridley Wright 1-6, 4-6.

Stepping up to play third singles was sophomore Lucas Thrift, who defeated Daniel Idzek 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.

“Lucas knew after the second set the match may come down to his singles match, so he escalated his play at the perfect time and stormed off to a quick 4-1 lead in the third,” said Pellegrino. “From there, it was a back-and-forth battle, but Lucas wanted it more and out-hustled his opponent, coming out on top and pulling off the big win. To get thrown into the ‘3 slot’ in a big match like this after playing doubles all season and to pull off the win for his team was impressive.”

In doubles action, Warren’s Jack Lynds and Ben Scott set the tone early, pulling off a 6-2, 6-1 win at first doubles over Christian Neubert and Pratham Aithal.

“This pair was dominant from start to finish today,” said Pellegrino.

With the team match tied at 2-2, it came down to the second doubles pair of Brody Alexander and Collin Ellis, “who were able to stay calm in the big moments and pull off a hard-fought, straight-set victory,” said Pellegrino, over Vinny Azoto and Jerome Yim 6-4, 6-4.

“This pair traveled to Lakewood still in the first set and knowing Abe had a battle at No. 1 singles,” said the coach. “We were really impressed with how composed they were even after falling down 1-3 in the second set.

“With some lights-out serving from Collin and great defense from Brody, the pair fought hard and came out on top, pulling off the win and grabbing the final point for the Dragons to win the team match,” added Pellegrino. “This was a great team win and a great response to the tough loss we suffered yesterday.”

Warren is now 7-2 overall and will be back at Betts Park at 4 p.m. today to take on Elk County Catholic.


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