GLADSTONE - Before the Westwood High School boys tennis team even took the courts on Wednesday in Gladstone, the Patriots were already victorious.
"When we arrived at the courts, the kids couldn't believe there was no snow," WHS coach Chris Jackson said. "They were so excited to play on actual tennis courts."
Not only did the Patriots experience real tennis courts, but they returned home with a 5-3 victory over Gladstone to open the 2013 tennis season in nonconference play.
Westwood’s No. 1 singles player Quinn LeRoy gets ready to return the ball during the second set of his match against Gladstone's Aaron Parmet on Wednesday in Gladstone. (Escanaba Daily Press photo by Justin Marietti)
Westwood swept doubles action, losing only one set at the No. 1 flight, while Josh Nicholas scored a 6-1, 6-3 win over the Braves' Peter Weyers for the lone Patriots win in singles all day.
"Our only senior, Josh Nicholas, picked up the only win in singles that allowed us to win the meet," Jackson said about the second singles flight.
Derek Wing and Michael Ostlund of Westwood rallied past Gladstone's Tyler Wells and Jeremy Kadish at No. 1 doubles, 4-6, 7-6 (6), (11-9), needing a sixth-point tie breaker to win the second set and a third-set super-tiebreaker to complete the comeback.
At No. 2 doubles, Andy Duquette and Tyler Harvala rolled to a 6-0, 6-2 win; Jacob Kierzek and Nathen Nelson won 6-1, 6-3, at No. 3 doubles; while Toivo Hendrickson and Andrew Airaudi earned a 6-1, 6-4, No. 4 doubles win for the Patriots.
"It was the first time some of our kids have played on a tennis court," Jackson said. "We have been practicing in the gym for a month.
"We played great, all the time in the gym definitely helped get us through the meet."
The Patriots next scheduled tennis meet is at 4 p.m. on Monday in Norway.