Bethlehem Press

Sunday, August 20, 2017

LHS tennis downs Eagles

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 by Katie McDonald kmcdonald@tnonline.com in Sports

Liberty’s undefeated boys’ tennis team won its match against an undefeated Nazareth team 4-3 last Friday at Nazareth High School.

“Prior to the match, I knew it was going to be really close,” said Hurricane coach Leo Schnalzer. “This puts us in a good place right now.”

In singles play, Nazareth’s Ben Tauber defeated Liberty’s Dan Lynn 6-4, 6-4, but the Hurricanes recovered at two singles where Louis Gruber defeated Gabe Knowles 6-0, 6-1, and at three singles where Jacob Berg defeated Ben Tauber 7-5, 6-3.

“Three singles was a key match. Jacob knew his opponent. They played each other twice before, and both matches were close,” Schnalzer said. “One singles would be a struggle because Danny hadn’t won against him yet, and I felt pretty good about two singles.”

In doubles play, Schnalzer was counting on wins at two and three but was a little unnerved when both pairs lost their first sets.

“I knew we were doing right things, but we were losing key points,” said Luke Conrad, who, with David Lynn, ultimately won the two doubles match for the Hurricanes 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.

Conrad and Lynn were poaching often on backhand, and both were serving well, so between sets they and Coach Schnalzer talked about executing their strategy and being careful not to double fault.

Everything fell into place for the Hurricanes in the second set, but the third was more challenging.

“There was a time I questioned if we were going to be able to do it. [At one point] we broke their serve, and they immediately broke us back. The final game was really down to the wire,” Conrad said. “[Afterwards] I felt that Dave and I did our job, and it was out of our hands at that point. We took away a lot of good things.”

Duke Jin and Gavin Snyder won at three doubles 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Marc Burritt and Jacob Wong lost at four doubles 3-6, 6-3, 3-6.

“At four doubles, if they played again, they might be able to pull that out,” said Schnalzer.

Isaiah Rivas and Steven Trempel teamed up at one doubles but lost 0-8.

“The wind was brutal, and it was cold. I hate to play in weather that is questionable,” Schnalzer said.

As fate would have it, the Hurricanes had to do it all over again on Saturday, twice.

Liberty’s first match started in 30 degree weather at East Stroudsburg North, and its second match was at Pocono Mountain West.

“It was kind of fun,” said Conrad. “I felt like it was both sides fighting a common enemy.”

The Hurricanes won both matches 7-0.

This Wednesday Liberty will take on Whitehall at home.