Crusader tennis team edges Dutch squad 5-4

The Elk County Catholic Crusader tennis team raised their record to 3-0 on the season as they edged the St. Marys Area Flying Dutchmen by a 5-4 score Thursday afternoon in a match played at the Benzinger and Memorial Park courts.“That was a very competitive match today, to say the least,” said ECCHS coach Nick Caggiano. “It could have gone either way, easily. St. Marys has some good shot-makers on their team and very consistent hitters.”“It’s been a wacky week in terms of weather, but I think we adapted well. Our competitiveness got us over the finish line today,” said Caggiano.At first singles, Dutchman Michael Fox defeated Shane Mancuso 6-4, 6-1.At second singles, Elk’s Drew Meyer downed Evan Lepovetsky 6-4, 6-5 (retired).Jarrod Lipsey of the Dutch defeated Scott Reichard 7-5, 6-1 at third singles.ECC’s Aaron Meier beat Gary Fledderman in a three-set match 6-2, 2-6, 10-8 at fourth singles.At fifth singles, Alan Brennen of the Crusaders defeated Dalton Gennocro 6-4, 6-3.“I was impressed with our ability to step up to the line when we needed it most. Aaron Meier and Alan Brennen really kept us alive today with their singles wins. They competed nicely,” said Caggiano.At first doubles, Michael Fox and D.J. Challingsworth of the Dutch edged Shane Mancuso and Scott Reichard 13-11.At second doubles, Scott Krellner and Alex Herzing of ECC defeated Dalton Gennocro and Jarrod Lipsey 8-6.Drew Meyer and Aaron Meier of ECC defeated Gary Fledderman and Kaleb Lechner 8-2 at third doubles.At fourth doubles, Deric Luvaas and Zach Fox of the Dutch defeated Cole Gerber and Brent Polaski 8-4.“There was a lot of intensity and tension when it came down to the final three doubles matches. Aaron and Drew gave us a little breathing room with their third doubles win. At second doubles, Scott Krellner and Alex Herzing were able to find some momentum mid-match after being down 1-4 to win the next seven out of nine games. They never fail to keep the entertainment lively, either,” said Caggiano.“Shane Mancuso and Scott Reichard lost a seesaw match at first doubles. The four players in that match had some great shots and it was very competitive,” said Caggiano. “Unfortunately, Ben Wortman was out sick today and we’re looking forward to having him back healthy next week. I’m glad we got the win today. There wee some things we can definitely improve on, technically speaking. Once we improve those, we’ll be able to do a lot more on the court,” he added.Elk Catholic, now 3-0 on the year, will return to action next Wednesday when they host the DuBois Area Beavers at 3:30 p.m. at the Benzinger and Memorial Park courts.St. Marys, now 1-2 on the season, returns to action Saturday when they play host to State College at the SMAHS courts beginning at 11 a.m.