Warren boys tennis keeps playoff hopes alive

In the “biggest match of the season” to this point, according to head coach Thomas Pellegrino, Warren’s boys tennis team downed visiting Hickory, 4-1, on Thursday at Betts Park.

“The region title and any playoff hope was on the line,” said Pellegrino. “With a win, there would be a three-way tie for first place in the region between Hickory, Greenville and Warren. With a loss, Warren would have moved to third and missed any hopes of returning to the D10 team playoffs.

“Hickory was undefeated in (Region 1) play coming into this with a win over Greenville, who defeated Warren on Monday,” added Pellegrino. “Our boys knew the season was on the line here and saved their best tennis of the season for today.”

At first singles, Abe Wolf was downed, 1-6, 0-6, by Hickory’s Jake Jarzab.

“Jake is undefeated on the season and is one of the top contenders for the singles title this year,” said Pellegrino.

At second singles, Warren’s Adam Strandburg defeated Blake Herring, 6-3, 6-0.

“This was hands down the best Adam has played all season,” said Pellegrino. “He was aggressive from the start today and was constantly putting pressure on his opponent and attacking the net in what seemed to be every point.”

Back in action at third singles, Warren’s Carson Moore defeated Joey White, 6-3, 6-4.

“Carson goes 110 percent in every match and will grind out long points and hustle for every ball,” said the coach. “He was willing to play that extra ball over and over again, which ultimately was the difference-maker today.”

In first doubles, the undefeated pair of Jack Lynds and Lucas Thrift defeated Paul Speilvogle and Coleman Regginello, 6-3, 6-4.

“Hickory always has great doubles teams and they challenged us today, but Jack was picking his spots from the baseline and Lucas was an undeniable force at the net,” said Pellegrino. “This pair continues to be the spark of the team and everyone feeds off of them.”

At second doubles, the Warren pair of Brody Alexander and Ben Scott defeated Remy Abolos and Kory Semanco, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2.

“These boys were actually down 2-5 in the first set before storming the whole way back and winning it in a tie-breaker,” said Pellegrino. “From there, it was all Warren as the confidence was at an all-time high and the momentum shifted in our favor. Brody and Ben are a tough pair for anyone to play. They never give up and always play their best tennis when they are under pressure. This was just a great hard fought doubles win for these boys. They may have started a bit slow but once they got going there was absolutely no stopping them.

“This may be one of the most impressive team wins I have seen in my five years of coaching,” said Pellegrino. “The pressure was all on Warren today and this match was going to make or break our season, but our boys came ready to play and saved their best tennis for this region showdown. We could not be more proud of what this squad has accomplished this season and this victory today.”

Warren is now among tri-Region 1 champions with Hickory and Greenville. “This is to my knowledge the first time this has ever happened, so I’m not entirely sure what happens next as there are only two playoff spots for team districts,” said Pellegrino.

In the meantime, Warren (8-2 overall and 6-1 in the region) will continue to play on, traveling to Elk County Catholic on Friday for a doubleheader at Benzinger Park.

In addition, Collin Ellis, Owen Baldensperger, Elliot Striker, Grady Corey, Tobiah Reinard, Josh Westover, Finn Ordiway, Bill Bennett, and Jack Napolitan were all victorious in JV play.


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