ROCKY RIVER – Oberlin seniors David Miller and Marius Chamberlain looked as if they would cruise through all four of their first doubles tennis matches at the Rocky River Quad on Saturday afternoon, but Lakewood’s Max DiFillippo and Dragoslav Cvijetinovic had another idea.
Trailing 5-2 in the final match of the doubles competition, which was held at Tri-City Park, DiFillippo and Cvijetinovic mounted a comeback and tied the super-set match at five games each. In a super-set, the first player or team to win eight games is declared the winner.
Miller and Chamberlain responded by winning three straight games for the victory over Lakewood and the first doubles championship.
“We gave up a few points, mostly through unforced errors, and let our opponents get to us,” Chamberlain said. “We talked to each other, looked at our opponents and started to notice there was a trend in how they were playing us. We used that to our advantage.”
“We’re both seniors and we’ve had some experience with tennis,” Miller added. “I think our teamwork helped us out a lot. We were in a couple ruts, but after talking with each other, we were able to get back in it and focus.
“We got complacent and thought it was over and we’d go through the motions. Then we lost our energy and the games. We just had to check ourselves back into having energy.”
Miller and Chamberlain were not the only Oberlin players to take home a championship. Second singles player Dina Bosch registered four wins after dropping just five games out of 37 played.
“I had really good opponents today, but I was playing really well,” Bosch said. “I was really happy with it. I thought one match was tiring, but four simultaneously, that’s really tiring. When you can put power behind consistency, it gives me confidence.”
Elyria’s Eli Thompson started the morning with an 8-5 loss to Jimmy Matthiesen of Lakewood. However, the Pioneers’ first singles player came back with 8-3 wins over Josh Swiger (Twinsburg) and Melvin Medina (Oberlin), as well as an 8-2 victory against Dillon Zagrans to earn second place.
“I think I did well with getting the ball back in play,” Thompson said of his success in the last three matches of the day. “Just going out against someone who makes every ball back was kind of tough for me because I’ve historically had trouble with people who are accurate.”
Rocky River’s James Meyer and David Morse also won titles at first and third singles, respectively, at the Force Indoor Sports Complex.
Twinsburg’s Andrew Liflyandchick and Saeed Khoncarly posted a 4-0 record in their matches at second doubles.
Rocky River took home the team championship with 148 points, 19 ahead of runner-up Twinsburg.
“Overall, with the competition and how the matchups were, I think they played pretty well,” Rocky River coach Jeff Sinnema said of his Pirate champs.
“James at first singles came back after yesterday’s tough defeat to James Oliver of
St. Ignatius and played very well. He was pretty dominant. The loss helped him because he just came back from vacation and he hadn’t played consistent over vacation, so he’s finding his groove right now.”