Beck and Buck Shine as Tennis Edges Pensacola Catholic
Jesuit’s tennis team used its depth to edge Pensacola Catholic 5-4 on Saturday, Feb. 20 at the UNO Tennis Center.
The visiting Crusaders were loaded at the top. At Line 1 doubles, Pensacola Catholic’s top team dispatched last year’s LHSAA Division One state doubles champions, seniors Jonathan and Jacob Niehaus, in straight sets (6-4, 6-4). The Niehauses didn’t fare any better in singles, with Jonathan losing on Line 1 (6-2, 6-2), and Jacob losing on Line 2 (6-1, 6-0). The Crusaders also managed a win at Line 4 singles, where junior Trey Hamlin fell by a score of 6-4, 7-6.
Fortunately, their Blue Jay teammates were able to post wins. The Jays won two out of three doubles matches to take a 2-1 lead into singles play. Senior Brandon Beck teamed with Hamlin for a 6-1, 6-7, 6-1 win at Line 2. On Line 3, senior Andrew Nguyen and junior Graham Buck posted a 7-6, 6-4 win.
Senior Cristian Archaga was the first Blue Jay to emerge victorious in singles competition, winning 6-1, 6-1 on Line 6. Beck, meanwhile, played nearly flawless tennis on Line 3 to win 6-2, 6-2.
With Hamlin and Buck still on the court, the Jays found themselves needing one win to clinch. It was Buck who came through with a gutsy three-set win, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. Perhaps the decisive swing in that match was at 2-0 in the third set, when Buck clawed back from 0-40 to hold serve and go up 3-0.
“I can’t remember the Niehauses ever getting shut out in my time here,” said senior Brandon Beck. “They have carried us so many times. I’m glad the rest of the guys were able to step up today. That’s why the team concept is so important.”
The Jays played without one of their top players, junior Jack Steib, who was in North Carolina for Teen Jeopardy tryouts.
Next up for the tennis team is a dual meet with Ben Franklin on Tuesday, Feb. 23. Match time is 4:00 at the UNO Tennis Center.