BY WENDI REARDON
Clarkston News Sports Writer
It was a close match for freshman Luke Baylis on Singles No. 2 court, but he was ready to prevail in his long three sets against Troy’s Brennan Cimpeanu.
“It was the two of the best freshman in the state going head to head,” said Clarkston Boys Varsity Tennis Head Coach Chas Claus.
Baylis lost the first set, 6-3.
“I kind of got down on myself at the beginning,” Baylis shared. “I ended up reenergizing and I kept thinking I could win this match. I knew I could do my best to win and it really helped me a lot because I had a lot of confidence going into the match, too. I was able to stay calm.
“During the match Coach Claus would try to talk to me, but I was trying to stay focused as much as I could because I knew I could win the match. I just needed to stay focused and do what I needed to do. It was a long match. I had to fight like crazy. I liked the atmosphere because the team was there. It was awesome.”
The end result made him feel great as he won the next two sets, 6-0, 6-3.
“He played with a lot of confidence which he always does,” said Claus. “It was a fun victory for him and the boys.”
The Wolves finished the day with a 5-3 loss to Troy with two more wins on the Singles courts.
Alex Matisse defeated Alex Yang, 6-0, 6-0 on Singles No. 1; and Jacob Burkett defeated Jagan Nallani, 6-4, 6-4 on Singles No. 3 court.
“They are a great team,” Claus said, adding they were fourth in the state last year in Division 1. “They are a very strong team. It’s hard to see how we match up because some of the flights had substitutes.”
The Wolves posted a win over Birmingham Groves on Sept. 13, 5-3.
“It was a nice victory over Groves which is a traditional rival and one we have a hard time getting over them – we tie them or lose by a point,” Claus said. “It was a really nice win. I was pleased with that and I know the guys were, too.”
Matisse won in three sets on the Singles No. 1 court against Gabe Liss, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
“He was the last guy on the court, knowing the match was on the line for us and pulled out a long 3-set,” Claus said.
He added Charlie Lussenhop and Jason Richards had a good win on Doubles No. 2 against Louie Nader and Oriol Canellas, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
“Groves has a very good doubles depth,” he said. “Charlie and Jason played really well and scored a nice early victory. A lot of teams against us think we will take singles and they will take most of the doubles. So to get a doubles win early on was a lift for the team.”
Other wins came from Baylis over Gabe Vidinas, 6-3, 6-3; Burkett over Kosei Yamamoto, 6-0, 6-1; and Frankie Piana over Ian Rosenwasser on Singles No. 4 court, 6-2, 6-3.
The Wolves opened the week against Troy Athens and host Lake Orion on Wednesday, Bloomfield Hills on Thursday and Rochester Adams on Monday.
Baylis added Troy will help him as he goes against Bloomfield Hills.
“It was such a long match out there and the kid I am going to play from Bloomfield is a very tough opponent,” he said. “He makes a lot of shots and he is a very calm player. That’s what I need to do if I want to beat him or come close because he is a great fighter. I am excited for the challenge.”
Claus added Bloomfield is defending their state championship and is one of the favorites to win again.
“It will be a tough match up and a great test,” he said. “They are a team who won it all last year and brought back virtually everyone. It will be a good measuring stick.”
The Wolves home matches begin at 4 p.m.
BY WENDI REARDON