OTTAWA — This spring hasn't offered a wealth of opportunities for the Ottawa boys tennis team to get outside and, you know, actually play tennis. That they were able to do so on a cool but dry and mostly sunny day early Tuesday evening was nice.
That the Pirates were able to win that home opener over conference rival La Salle-Peru was even nicer.
Ottawa defeated visiting L-P here at the OHS tennis courts 4-1 Tuesday, recording victories at No. 1 singles and all three doubles — the majority of those wins coming in convincing fashion.
"We haven't been able to play," said Pirates coach Matt Gross, "and then finally we get out and we play and the guys looked pretty good. This past Saturday when we played (at the Rockford Boylan Quad) it looked like we hadn't played in a week.
"Today we looked a lot better, and the guys came out ready to play."
The No. 1 and 2 doubles teams rolled, each losing just two games. At No. 1, Nathan Meyer and Logan Olszewski defeated L-P's Jalen Depenbrock and Nate Newman 6-0, 6-2; while at No. 2 doubles it was Ottawa's Andrew Hancock and Declan McGettigan scoring the 6-1, 6-1 triumph over the Cavaliers' Mat Carmean and Sam Overmiller.
The Pirates' No. 3 doubles team needed a bit more time but wound up with a "W" as well, as Jonah Sharp and Tyler Olesen won in a tiebreaker 6-4, 0-6, 12-10 over Abhi Patel and Ray Reed.
Ottawa received its other win at No. 1 singles, as ace Jack Marvel blanked L-P's Connor Cofoid 6-0, 6-0.
"The weather hasn't been great to us, but it's nice to finally play our first home match, especially against L-P," said Marvel. "Everyone was just excited to get outside today.
"I think it took me a couple games to get settled, but I feel as my serve started to work better and I kept the ball in play, things got better."
"It was nice to see Jack (Marvel at No. 1 singles) play a nice game, No. 1 doubles were smooth and solid throughout, No. 2 doubles did the same," Gross said. "No. 3 doubles and 2 singles are areas where we're going to have to focus on and get after it a little bit more.
"But to play L-P right out of the gate, it's always a good matchup to see L-P."
The Pirates' lone loss came in the longest-running match of the day, as Max Vargas played point-for-point with La Salle-Peru's Alex Newman at No. 2 doubles before falling in an ultra-competitive (and surprisingly lengthy) bout, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (3).