Clarkston Tennis ready to make noise this fall

By Wendi Reardon Price
Clarkston News Sports Writer

Clarkston Boys Varsity Tennis is proving they will be a challenge for their competition this fall season.
“We have a good group coming back,” said Chas Claus, head coach. “I was very impressed with tryouts with how many players from last year, especially JV players from last year, really put in some time in the off season to get better. High school sports is wonderful, but they just don’t last that long. The high school tennis season is only two months long. If you want to get better at the sport, it’s not so much what happens during the season but what you do the other ten months of the year. I was very impressed with the group coming back. We can make some noise against some good teams.”
He added they made some noise in their first match against Rochester in a 5-4 loss, Aug. 22.
“Rochester is a very good team,” Claus said. “A team that has been at the state finals the last few years, the top players will be potential state champions. When you play teams like that you don’t just want to see what you can do against average teams, but what can you do against good teams. You are never happy to lose but to go 5-4 with them was a pretty good way to start our year. It is definitely something to build off. It showed us we can hang with the type of teams who are worth beating.”
On the Singles courts, Lane Robison defeated Ryan Loren on Singles No. 3, 6-1, 6-7, 10-6.
“He played a very long three setter,” said Claus. “His opponent is a good player who made the state quarterfinals last year so an experienced player who has been successful at a really high level. Lane really dug in when things got tense and pulled through. It’s always fun when most of the two teams are done so both players have most of their teammates closely watching their match and get wild. That was a fun match to watch. I was really proud.”
Evan Banyas defeated Lucas Chang on Singles No. 4, 6-1, 6-2. Thomas McCormick lost to Clayton Anderson on Singles No. 1, 6-0, 6-1. Ethan Banyas lost to Chad Anderson on Singles No. 2, 6-0, 6-1.
The Wolves won two flights on the Doubles courts. Ryan Merritt and Nathan Keller defeated Andy Bardas and Declan Kelly on Doubles No. 5, 8-6.
Christopher Manwaring and Noah Puzio defeated Charlie Leik and Arya Rukadikar on the Doubles No. 4 court, 0-6, 6-3, 6-3.
“They played a really terrible first set,” Claus shared. “Both they and I knew it was not the way they usually play. They turned it around in the second set, and they started playing with a lot more confidence and got loud to where you could hear them cheering and pumping themselves up from the other end of the facility. They came back and won the second and third set. I was really proud of them. It’s not easy when you are playing that badly to say we are going to stop it right here and immediately turn it around. They did a great job with that in that match.”
Clarkston opened the season at the Novi Quad, Aug. 16.
Robison finished with a gold medal on the Singles No. 3 court. He defeated Birmingham Groves’ Alex Brown, 5-7, 6-2, 10-4; and Novi’s Samuel Seki, 6-2, 6-1. He lost to Rockford’s Easton Wurm, 6-3, 6-3.
Ethan Banyas, on Singles No.2; and Evan Banyas on Singles No. 4 finished with silver medals.
Ethan defeated Rockford’s Pete Johnson, 6-1, 6-3; and Groves’ Lucas Winchester, 6-2, 6-4. He lost to Novi’s Eric Ma, 6-2, 4-6 7-10.
Evan defeated Groves’ Max Schardt, 6-3, 6-1; and Rockford’s Mataeo Jarell, 6-0, 6-4. He lost to Novi’s Harish Narayan, 6-0, 6-2.
“My singles line up in particular played really good which was impressive because most of them are coming from a doubles background and really starting to focus on singles,” Claus said. “Ethan, Evan and Lane all have experience. Having that doubles training has really allowed them give some other singles players some problems. They are more aggressive and more comfortable around the net.
“They have done a great job of leading the way for us so far.”
McCormick won one match on Singles No. 1, defeating Rockford’s Elijah Johnson, 6-0, 3-6, 10-8.
“Overall I have been proud of my whole singles line up,” Claus said, adding McCormick has really held his own. “Having a freshman play one singles from the very beginning is always a challenge because every team has a good one singles.”
Michael Moldovan and Sam Yerian went 1-2 on the Doubles No. 5 court. They defeated Rockford’s Alex Moore and Nik Pease, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 10-6.
Novi finished the quad in first place with 24 points; Groves, second, 12; Rockford, 10; and Clarkston, eight.
“Novi, Birmingham Groves and Rockford all of those are teams which routinely make the state finals,” Claus said. “I thought we competed well. We were very competitive and won some of our matches with Groves and Rockford that was good.”
The Wolves competed in the Traverse City Invitational last Friday. The varsity team hosts Lake Orion on Thursday, 3 p.m.. They head to Ann Arbor Pioneer Invite on Saturday. The varsity team heads to West Bloomfield while JV stays home on Tuesday, Sept. 12.
“I am very excited about the season. I am excited to see what we can do in our league,” Claus said. “We have probably one of the hardest regions in the state so getting to the state finals will be a significant challenge for us.
“We have guys who are young, hungry and will be a player in conversations over the next couple of years. Certainly a team who is going to give other teams problems.”

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