Viking netters give Eddies a battle

Published 3:43 am Tuesday, September 25, 2007

By By STEVE MORRISON / Niles Daily Star
NILES – Within 72 hours the Niles Vikings and Edwardsburg Eddies squared off in tennis contests at Niles High School. Edwardsburg took most of the second place honors in Saturday's Niles Invitational Tournament, but on a windy Monday night Niles showed intense improvement, giving the visitors a run for their money.
Niles' Zach Payne really turned it around against his opponent, Zac Ake after losing the first set 6-2. With smart play at the net and crafty cross-court shots Payne came back to outlast his rival, winning the second and third sets by identical scores 6-4, 6-4.
Niles coach Jill Weber was really pleased with Payne's determination.
"The No. 2 singles match was a great lift for Zach. He (Payne) pulled it out! I'm so happy for him," she said.
In No. 2 doubles, Brad Benjamin and Jordan Arnold solidly dispatched Eddie challengers Frank LaPorte and Jason Karaman, 6-4, 6-2.
"Two doubles was the best match I've seen this year. Everything just clicked." Weber exclaimed. "At that point, I thought we were going to split."
Jordan Parks rallied to win set two with a 6-4 win after narrowly losing set one, 6-3 at No. 1 singles. In the deciding game Edwardsburg's Tom Blunier came out on top 6-2.
Perhaps the tightest confrontation of the evening took place in first doubles. Niles' Dustin Jankoviak and partner Kyle Lee,with an elbow injury, whalloped the ball at Zac Kau and Matt McCracken all evening.
After losing the first set in a tie breaker 7-6, Lee and Jankoviak responded with a 6-2 rebound in the second. After leading 3-2 in the final match, Niles' pair was stymied by Kau and McCraken in a tough 7-5 tie-breaking defeat.
1. Tom Blunier (E) d. Jordan Parks 6-3,4-6,6-2; 2. Zach Payne (N) d. Zac Ake 2-6, 6-4, 6-4; 3. Cody Pletcher (E) d. Matt Ftacek 3-6, 6-3, 6-1; 4. Ryker Huffman (E) d. Chris Archer 6-1, 6-0
1. Zac Kau/Matt McCraken (E) d. Kyle Lee/Dustin Jankoviak 7-6,2-6,7-5; 2. Brad Benjamin/Jordan Arnold (N) d. Frank LaPorte/Jason Karaman 6-4, 6-2; 3. Matt Hayes/Matt Marbach (E) d. Ricky Braind/Chris Lewallen 6-3/ 6-2; 4. Anthony Hansen/Matt Boesler (E) d. Anthony Gladden/Alex Lewallen 6-2,6-4