Mixing up the formula, Falls boys tennis finds success

Roger Gordon
Correspondent
Cuyahoga Falls

Mixing things up a bit, throw in some changes and the Cuyahoga Falls boys tennis team sprinkles in some magic, along with maybe a little extra energy, and what do you have?

A victory.

Ryan Markgraf will take it.

The second=year Black Tiger coach is building on the program and Falls has shown plenty of positive flashes this spring.

Using some role reversal in the lineup, Markgraf was excited to see his squad post a 3-2 home win over Kent Roosevelt.

“Some of our doubles players wanted to try singles, so we tried a different lineup,” said Markgraf, who used his singles players in doubles play.

Notching his first singles win at the third singles spot, sophomore Jacob Graham won 6-0, 6-3 over Narayan White in the April 20 match.

Meanwhile, junior Brandon Schertz and freshman Noah Hite, who are usually teamed up at first doubles, played at first and second singles.

Schertz lost 6-4, 6-2 to Kent’s solid Patrick Gallagher and Hite fell 6-1, 6-0 to Ethan Jenkins, a good player for the Rough Riders.

“Even with a tough loss at first and second singles, Brandan (Schertz) and Noah (Hite) did well on some tough points,” pointed out Markgraf.

“Jacob (Graham) played well during his third singles match and got his first win at the position,” the coach added. “Jacob was hustling on every point, and tried to get to every ball. All of the singles players were able to create opportunities at the net, which was great to see as we had been working on it during our last practice.”

Falls (2-7) had a ton of action in the new-look doubles action that led to a pair of wins.

Senior David Rinehart and sophomore Zach Schutt teamed up to win at second doubles 6-4, 6-4.

“Our doubles matches were very exciting to watch,” Markgraf said. “Zach and David played well together. The combination of deep returns by Zach created opportunities for David to finish at net. They used great teamwork to get their win.”

At first doubles, the junior duo of Tyler Cargould and Zach Barnes won 2-6, 7-6, 6-1 over a solid Kent team of Luke Jenkins and Gavin Markham.

“Zach Barnes and Tyler Cargould won a tough three-set match to decide the overall match,” express the coach.

“They started to gain momentum down 6-5 in the second, when they focused more on going for their shots rather than playing defensively,” noted Markgraf. “They won the breaker for the second set, and carried that momentum to take the third set.”