Jets dominate ACAC tourney
Adam Central junior Nathan Barger slices a tough net-shot during the ACAC tournament Saturday. Barger advanced to the finals but was defeated by Leoâ€™s foreign exchange student, Fernando Vasquez, a native of Spain. (Photo by Deb Shannon)
MONROE—For the first time in the history of the ACAC tennis tournament, a team (Adams Central) advanced all seven players to the third round and the Jets finished with a claim to the doubles championship and runner-up in singles play.
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Adams Central repeated at the top of the doubles competition with Derek Roe and Keaton Fiechter beating South Adams' Scott Hoeppner and Derek Schwartz in the finals 7-6 (4), 6-4. Roe was a member of the winning AC team last year as well.
The singles title went to Fernando Vasquez of Leo, a foreign exchange student from Spain who notched a 6-3, 6-1 win over Adams Central's Nathan Barger; that coming after breezing through two earlier matches by losing just one game while winning 24.
Barger, a junior, made the first team for the third year in a row and was the defending ACAC champion in the singles division.
The ACAC tournament is designed to eliminate biases involved in selecting all-conference individual honors in that the four teams involved-Leo, Adams Central, Bluffton and South Adams-participate in a round-robin format to decide the team champion. The tournament is then seeded based on the records of the number one singles and number one doubles teams.
All-conference honors announced found Adams Central with two first team spots and two second team honors. Getting named to the first team all-ACAC were Barger in singles and Roe and Fiechter in doubles. Second team honors went to Conner Lengerich in singles and John Weil and Isaac Luginbill in doubles. South Adams' Alex Huber was also named to the first team as was the doubles duo of Hoeppner and Schwartz.
Vazquez was selected to the first team as well in singles while making the second team were Damon Kuhlenbeck of Bluffton and Mason Heller of Leo in singles and Weil and Luginbill in doubles.
The tournament is a two-day format with two rounds on Friday and the final two rounds on Saturday. On Friday, all singles players received a first round bye and Barger was the only Jet to move on in the winner's bracket as he downed Nick SanGiocomo of Leo 6-1, 6-3. He knocked off Huber Saturday morning by a 6-1, 6-2 count before falling to Vasquez.
Huber downed Heller in a struggle by a 7-5, 7-6 (0) count Friday in the second round before losing to Barger. He came back to claim third place with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Kuhlenbeck in the consolation round.
On Friday, Lengerich topped J. D. Tarr of South Adams 6-2, 6-0 but then lost to Kuhlenbeck on Saturday 6-3, 6-2. In the loser's bracket Lengerich was paired up against teammate Jacob Weil (Weil had downed Mark Muselman of South Adams 6-2, 3-6, 10-6 on Friday before being shut out 6-0, 6-0 by Vasquez on Saturday) and Lengerich won that contest 6-3, 7-5. He was beaten 6-2, 6-4 by Heller in a match for fifth place.
Four matches were played initially in doubles action on Friday with Adams Central winning both of its matches and South Adams got one "W."
Roe and Fiechter eliminated Ian Frank and Steffen by a 6-3, 6-1 story while Weil and Luginbill defeated Hevel and Ringwood of Leo 6-4, 6-4. For South Adams, Hoeppner and Schwartz continued on with a 6-2, 6-1 verdict against Antrim and Lambert of Bluffton.
On Saturday, Roe and Fiechter notched a win over Penrod and Garrett of Bluffton to make it to the finals where they would face Hoeppner and Schwartz who had downed Weil and Luginbill of AC in the semis. Weil and Luginbill finished the day off with a win for third place over Penrod and Garrett by a 6-2, 6-3 score.