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The Elk County Catholic Crusader tennis team defeated the Clearfield Bisons 7-2 on Monday afternoon in a contest played at Benzinger and Memorial parks in St. Marys.
"Looking at the entire match, I think we performed well enough to win today. We had some good moments out there today with good results. We also would have done some things better. Our footwork took a while to warm up in the beginning, but once we got the feet working, things came together. It was like we kept hitting the snooze button and then finally decided to wake up, and I'm glad we did because we had some interesting matches," said ECC coach Nick Caggiano.
At first singles, ECC's Ben Wortman defeated Ian Bookhammer 7-5, 6-0. The Crusaders' only losses of the match came at second and third singles. At second singles, Shane Mancuso lost to Clearfield's Cory Maines 5-7, 2-6, and at third singles Drew Meyer was defeated 4-6, 2-6 by Clearfield's Kerry Maines. Scott Reichard recorded a victory for the Crusaders at fourth singles, defeating Kunal Patel 7-5, 6-2. ECC's Aaron Meier was also victorious at fifth singles, downing Ben Panebianco 6-2, 6-1.
"Ben (Wortman) had a good comeback in his match, getting his game back on track just in time to win the final 11 games, and Scott Reichard also had a comeback of his own. Those two matches were some of the keys to our win today, and I think gave us a little more of a jolt," Caggiano said. "Clearfield served well today and I think we did a good job of returning them."
All of the Crusaders' doubles teams picked up victories in the contest. At first doubles, Ben Wortman and Shane Mancuso defeated Ian Brookhammer and Cory Maines 8-0. Scott Krellner and Alex Herzing recorded an 8-4 win over Kerry Maines and Kunal Patel at second doubles. At third doubles, ECC's Austin Minard and Alan Brennan beat Connor Renaud and Ben Panebianco 8-1. At fourth doubles, Cole Gerber and Brent Polaski took an 8-4 win for ECC over Gabe Ford and Vince Owens.
"Our doubles today looked very fine and accurate," Caggiano said. "We have some good pairings and positive teamwork. Ben (Wortman) and Shane (Mancuso) played some of their best doubles of the season. Scott Krellner and Alex (Herzing), Alan (Brennan), and Austin (Minard), and Cole (Gerber) and Brent (Polaski) also looked accurate today. I am very pleased with the progress we are making every match. They are a great group to be around and they keep us coaches entertained and laughing all the time."
The Crusaders are now 6-1 on the season and will be back in action today as they host Brockway in a 3:30 p.m. match.