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Western tennis team posts senior day sweep over Eastern

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By Jacob Kisamore
Special to The Alamance News

The Western Alamance Warriors men’s tennis team delivered a 9-0 victory against the Eastern Alamance Eagles on Monday (April 26) to improve to 10-1 on the season.

The Warriors recognized their two seniors, Ari Izzo and William Geiger, prior to the doubles matches. Both Geiger and Izzo will attend North Carolina State University in the fall.

Izzo and Geiger paired up in doubles for the first time in theirs careers Monday, defeating Eastern’s Caleb Gerlach and Ethan Alvis 8-3 in the number one position. Geiger said their goal was to keep the opposing team as far back in the court as possible so they could come to the net to finish points with volleys.

Eastern junior Caleb Gerlach stands ready at net as freshman Ethan Alvis prepares to serve. The team lost 8-3 to the duo of William Geiger and Ari Izzo in the number one position.

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“Ari’s really tall and was able to put a lot of volleys away, especially when I was serving” Geiger said. “I’d push them to the corner to where they’d have to hit a shot back at the net, and then we would both crash the net to see if we could put the point away.”

Geiger also won his singles match 6-1, 6-3 against Gerlach to improve to 9-1 on the season in singles. He cited his aggressive play as the key to his strategy, as he moved toward the net to often to end points quickly.

Eastern junior James Deacon attempts a serve in his singles match.

“My plan was to come to net so I could direct the point,” Geiger said. “He’s a good player, and every now and then he would hit a good passing shot, but by coming to net, I was able to put shots away.”

Eastern Alamance sophomore Samuel Durham bouncing the ball prior to a serve in his singles match. Durham lost to Western freshman Ethan Alvis 6-0, 6-1 in the number three position.

Western Alamance sophomore Quinten Onder plays a volley during his singles match. Onder defeated Eastern junior James Deacon 6-0, 4-6, 10-8 in a tight three-set battle.

Eastern junior Caleb Gerlach tossing the ball for a serve in his singles match. Gerlach was defeated by Western senior William Geiger 6-3, 6-1 in the number one spot.

 

Looking ahead to tournament play:

Geiger now holds a 17-2 record across both doubles and singles this season and will

“I feel confident. I’ve played most of the guys in this conference that I would probably have a chance of playing, and I feel like I can beat all of those guys.”

– Western senior William Geiger,17-2 during season (in singles and doubles play)

compete in the 3A Mid East Conference Tournament, an individual competition, on April 30. Geiger said he believes he can do well at the tournament.

“I feel confident,” Geiger said. “I’ve played most of the guys in this conference that I would probably have a chance of playing, and I feel like I can beat all of those guys.”

Geiger, who began playing tennis as a sophomore, said he is thankful for his experience with the team and his teammates.

“It’s been a great three years, and I’m really proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish as a team,” Geiger said. “I’m just really grateful.”

Western senior William Geiger serving during his singles match.

Other winners for Western in singles included Izzo, sophomore Zach Allred, sophomore Samuel Durham, junior Christian Barringer, and sophomore Quinten Onder. In doubles, Durham and Allred teamed up for a victory in the number two spot, while Barringer and junior Dylan Vurganov rounded out the sweep for the Warriors in the number three position.

“I thought our team performed very well. They were pretty aggressive on their groundstrokes, which is what we do.”

– Western tennis coach Rich Dowler

The team’s performance impressed second year head coach Rich Dowler, who especially liked the way his players utilized their forehand and backhand shots.

“I thought our team performed very well,” Dowler said. “They were pretty aggressive on their groundstrokes, which is what we do.”

Western Alamance will conclude its regular season on Wednesday (April 28) when it hosts Northern Guilford, who beat the Warriors 7-2 on April 5 in its only loss. Western needs a win to share the conference title with Northern Guilford, who will enter the match with a perfect 10-0 record.

Dowler believes that if his team executes well, they will have a good chance of winning Wednesday’s match.

“Northern Guilford is a tough and talented team, but if we play well, we have a good shot at being champions,” Dowler said.

Eastern Alamance fell to 3-8 with the loss. They will also wrap up their regular season on Wednesday (April 28) when they face McMichael at home.

 

Western senior William Geiger poses for a picture with his mom and dad during his senior day recognition during Monday’s match with Eastern.

Western senior Ari Izzo poses for a picture with his mom and dad during his senior day recognition. Both Geiger and Izzo plan to attend N.C. State University next fall.

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