CENTENARY, Ohio — A singles sweep, despite a doubles defeat, did the job for getting Gallia Academy a season-opening tennis victory.
That’s because the Blue Devils, in Wednesday’s non-league tilt against visiting Portsmouth Clay, captured a narrow 3-2 win.
Wednesday was the initial match of 2017 for the Blue Devils, which sport nine players including six returnees and three newcomers.
The GAHS roster consists of four men and five ladies — with the class breakdown being four seniors, two juniors, two sophomores and a freshman.
Against Clay, the Blue Devils’ experienced boys swept the Panthers in straight sets, while four of Gallia Academy’s girls teamed up in the two doubles bouts — and unfortunately fell in straight sets.
In the process, Gallia Academy handed Clay its first loss, as the Panthers swept Unioto and Portsmouth West in their opening two matches this week.
The Blue Devils’ two juniors, newcomer Miguel Velasco and returnee Pierce Wilcoxon, won their respective contests at first and second singles.
Velasco swept Portsmouth Clay senior Nate Hinze 6-4, 6-0 at first singles, while Wilcoxon claimed a 6-1, 6-0 triumph over freshman Gage Keller at second singles.
Miles Cornwell, the only senior Blue Devil boy and the club’s captain, captured a 6-4, 7-5 third-singles sweep over junior Garrett Stone.
The Panthers’ pair of points came with straight-set sweeps of the doubles duels, which were the final two matches to be completed.
At first doubles, Hunter Armstrong and Taylor Pack posted a 7-5, 6-2 win over Gallia Academy’s Olivia Meadows and Katie Carpenter.
At second doubles, Regan Osborn and Savannah Moore mustered a 6-2, 6-1 sweep over MiKayla Edelmann and Kirsten Hesson.
The Blue Devils returned to action on Thursday, when they traveled to Unioto for another non-league match.
Gallia Academy, in tennis only, competes in the final season of the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League —which also includes Jackson, Logan and Athens.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106