Tennis Stays Hot against St. John XXIII

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Boys Sweep district match against St. John XXIII

Tomball (South Campus) – After having several of their previous matches postponed by the Texas “late winter whiplash”, Concordia Crusader Tennis showed no signs of rust this week in victorious performances against The St. John School and St. John XXIII.

The Saders continued a successful run in District 4-6A play, taking 6 of 8 varsity matches against St. John XXIII on Thursday evening and sweeping the boys side 4-0. Elise Chouinard opened play with a shutout 6-0, 6-0 victory at #2 girls singles, improving her district record to 3-0. Fellow senior Leah Walko followed up with a dominant win of her own at the #1 spot, having given up only a handful of games while picking up her 2nd win this week at the top position.

Freshman Aaron Liu continued his winning ways with an impressive win at #1 boys singles. Liu is still undefeated as a Crusader entering the last month of the season (10-0 overall, 3-0 district). The rest of the boys matches got off to inauspicious starts, as #2 singles and doubles both dropped their first sets while #1 doubles faced a large 2nd set deficit before all 3 courts mounted furious comebacks.

First off the courts were juniors Mason Barrett and Jack Graves, making their first district start together at #1 doubles. After being down 0-4 in the 2nd, the pair had a furious rally of 6 straight games to take the match 6-4, 6-4. Next off the court was sophomore Jackson Robuck, who found himself down 2-6, 3-4 after a slow start before mounting a comeback of his own. Robuck battled back to win the 2nd set 6-4 before taking a closely-contested super-tiebreaker 10-7, his second 3-set win of the week at #2 singles. Last off the courts were freshmen Will Arego and Nathan Vingsbo, making their varsity debuts together at #2 doubles. After dropping the first set 4-6, they came back to win the 2nd 6-4 and played smart, aggressive tennis while winning the 3rd set tiebreaker 10-4.

“Playing without 3 of our top 6 boys, we were proud to see the rest of the guys step up and compete well,” said Crusaders head coach Patrick Sullivan. “Any of them could have buckled when they were down, but they all stood firm and played their best tennis when it mattered most.”

A few fresh faces lit up the scoreboard for the Saders as freshmen Ava Zindler (6-1) and Brady Rose (6-0) also picked up wins in their Crusader singles debuts, making quick work of their opponents at the #3 girls and boys singles spots, respectively. Freshmen Addie Elder and Ellie Waltman teamed up to pick up a strong 6-4 win at #3 girls doubles.

“I’m really happy with the effort and attitude across the board,” added assistant coach Mike Schatz. “Our returning players continued to have strong seasons and we had some freshmen step up in some key spots today to win important matches against a tough district opponent.”

Earlier in the week, the team traveled to the Lee LeClear Tennis Center to face St. John’s School in a non-district split-squad tilt. The Saders took 7 of 12 overall matches, highlighted by strong boys and girls singles performances at the top positions. Walko and Chouinard both rattled off straight set victories at the top two girls singles spots, while Liu and Robuck also tallied victories at the top two boys positions. In doubles action, Avi UmaShankar and Barrett picked up a pair of straight set doubles victories, improving their record together to 9-1 on the season. Senior stalwarts Kate Davis and Stephanie Uriegas gave up only one game on the way to a win, improving their season record to 7-1.

The Crusaders take a well-deserved spring break next week and hope that the weather heats up to match their performance as they return to action at 4:00 PM on 3/19 at Kelly Catholic (Beaumont). You can catch the Saders tennis team next at home on South Campus on Thursday 3/21 at 4:00 PM as they face off against traditional district power Awty International School.

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