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COLUMBUS North entered it’s crosstown showdown against Columbus East as the more experienced team.
That proved to be evident Wednesday as the host Bull Dogs clinched the matched early and went on to post a 4-1 victory.
All four wins came in straight sets, including at No. 3 singles, where North sophomore Rahul Jha dispatched Jo Jo Woolwine 6-0, 6-3 in a battle that lasted less than an hour.
Both doubles teams soon followed to put North in front 3-0 before Luke Red ousted the Olympians’ Seth Meyer 6-3, 6-4 at No. 1 singles.
“North is solid all the way down the lineup,” East coach Jim Stone said. “We’re young, and it showed in some areas, but we also had some good play.”
Perhaps the O’s best play came at No. 2 singles, where Matt Fuehne locked horns with the Bull Dogs’ Krishan Narsinghani.
Most of the local tennis fans from both sides stuck around late to watch the duo go at it and witness Fuehne scratch back to pull out a roller-coaster 5-7, 6-4 (10-6) victory. The clash featured several long rallies and intense net play.
“Krishan and Matt both played well,” North coach Kendal Hammel said. “That battle could have gone either way.”
Hammel confirmed his crew came into the contest as the stronger group, but the hosts still had to execute if they wanted to prevail.
“I just didn’t want the kids getting nervous because of the rivalry-type match,” he said. “But they handled things well and played to their ability.”
Aditya Mantri and Kevin Luo whipped Alex Galle and Matt Furnish 6-2, 6-1 at No. 2 doubles to be the second point on the board for North, while the No. 1 tandem of Anthony Sanders and Jake Likens put away East’s Alex Pegram and Sammy Woolwine 7-5, 6-2 to seal the team triumph.
“I think most of the matches were good,” Hammel said. “We just got the break and some big points, but you never know the next time we meet.”
Stone said he thought about mixing up the lineup but decided against it in order to find some things out.
“What I saw today was who can compete and who struggled,” he said. “We’ll definitely have to move some kids around, especially if we’re going to compete against North in the future.”
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