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Blue Bombers sweep new kids on the block

May 4, 2017
By LOU REUTER - Senior Sports Writer ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - In facing the newcomer in the Champlain Valley Athletic Conference, the biggest challenge for the Lake Placid boys and girls tennis teams Wednesday wasn't necessarily winning their matches against Schroon Lake.

The toughest task was probably making sure those contests took place, and in the end, some squeegees and the availability of indoor courts at the Northwood School saved the day. A rain shower that soaked Lake Placid's courts about a half hour before the matches were slated to start created a bit of havoc with scheduling, but the contests went on, albeit a little late.

The contest kicked off on Northwood's two courts, and a little less than a mile away, the Blue Bombers' four outdoor courts were ready to go after an hour of squeegeeing created conditions that were dry enough to host the rest of the action.

Article Photos

Lake Placid junior Sawyer Chase returns a shot during his first singles match Wednesday against Schroon Lake’s Levi Williams.
(News photo — Lou Reuter)

When all was said and done, Lake Placid's boys and girls claimed sweeps over the first-year Wildcats, who entered the match without enough players to complete a full roster.

The Blue Bombers won both competitions by 5-0 scores. Lake Placid's girls remained unbeaten as they moved to 4-0 with their victory, while the boys earned their third win in a row to improve to 3-1.

Although both of Lake Placid's teams picked up a forfeit point, they did face some competition, especially on the boys side, where the Wildcats took two sets and had some other close games in four matches played.

"We started about an hour and 15 minutes late with the weather delay," Blue Bombers girls coach Jon Fremante said. "We started to squeegee around 3:15, and did that for a good hour. After all that, the girls were still able to play, and they played pretty well."

The lone girls match that took place indoors was first singles, where Victoria O'Leary took down Schroon Lake's Emily Masonville 6-3, 6-1. Sonja Toishi followed with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Ashlyn Lough in the second singles for Lake Placid's second point. The Wildcats forfeited at No. 3 singles.

In the top doubles match, Ashley Strack and Barrett Smith claimed a 6-1, 6-0 win over Megan Wilson and Lexi Dezalia, and in second doubles, Aimee Hebert and Chelby Lawrence defeated Shelbie Rice and Tram Le 6-1, 6-1.

"The girls are really starting to mesh together in doubles, and our singles players are starting to get really comfortable," Fremante said. "I'm not really surprised. I think they are playing the way I thought they would at this stage of the season. We're playing well, we're still unbeaten, and that's pretty exciting."

The top boys match was also contested at Northwood, and wound up being a pretty good battle with Sawyer Chase claiming a three-set win for the Blue Bombers. Chase took the first set from Levi Williams 6-2, dropped the second by a 5-7 score and then came back to triumph in the third set 6-2.

First-year player Witter Swanson won a close second singles match against Ben Wisser by 7-5, 7-6 (7-4) scores. In No. 3 singles, Blake Roy dropped the first set 5-7 to Gabe Grotto, and then battled back to win the next two by scores of 6-0 and 6-1.

In No. 1 doubles, Will Gray and Tucker Jakobe defeated Joe Slaterpryce and Ryan Haneman 6-1, 6-3. The Blue Bombers picked up their forfeit point in second doubles.

"I think things went pretty well given what we went through with the weather today," Lake Placid boys coach Tyler Chase said. "There was some competition out there today. I think it's great having a new team in the league, and the kids on that team couldn't be any nicer. It's exciting to see Schroon Lake joining the CVAC ranks."

"We were talking to some of the kids from Schroon Lake, and they're just so excited to be out there playing and meeting new kids from different schools," Fremante added.

Under coach Heather Williams, Schroon Lake has fielded a tennis team playing at the club level for the past two years, and the program is now in its inaugural season of CVAC competition. She said factors leading up to tennis being added as a sport at the school include dwindling participation in other sports and the presence of courts in the village.

"Just in the last couple years in general with our sports, we've been struggling just trying to field full teams - soccer, softball and baseball - sports that require larger numbers," Williams said. "Last year, we joined up with Bolton in softball and baseball for the first time. That's a 40-minute drive and a lot of our kids didn't want to make that commitment every day.

"Tennis has opened up an avenue for a life-long sport," she continued. "The thought was 'We have tennis courts in town, let's give it a try and see who signs up.' With the club team, it was only doubles play, and it was just a fun introduction to the sport. All those kids are on this team. We're at the stage where the kids are just happy to be playing. Some of our kids have already won some matches, so that keeps you coming back."

Lake Placid's next matches were scheduled to be on the road Friday at Northeastern Clinton, but as of press time, team coaches were attempting to have those contests pushed up to today due to the predicted wet weather for Friday.



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