OTTAWA — The Ottawa boys tennis squad made it a successful senior day for Jack Marvel, Nathan Meyer, Josh Norsen and Jonah Sharp with a wins over both Mendota and Streator at King Field courts on Tuesday afternoon.
The Pirates, who travel to Rochelle for the Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference meet this Saturday, swept both singles and all three doubles matches from the Trojans in a 5-0 victory and then picked up a 4-1 triumph over the Bulldogs.
"This is only Jonah's second year ever playing tennis and he is playing No. 3 doubles for us and this is Josh's first year out," said Ottawa coach Matt Gross. "They are both great kids and a pleasure to coach. With Jack and Nathan, they have been so good for four years, I have been very spoiled for sure. Today was a good day all around for us I feel and now we'll prepare for Saturday."
Against Mendota, Logan Olszewski and Max Vargas won 6-0, 6-2 at No. 1 and 6-3, 4-6 (10-3) at No. 2 singles, respectively, while sweeping the doubles were Marvel/Meyer won 6-1, 6-2 at No. 1; Andrew Hancock/Declan McGettigan 5-7, 6-4 (10-4) at No. 2; and Ty Olesen/Sharp 6-2, 6-0 at No. 3 were all victorious.
Although Streator's lone victory against the hosts was Greg Rashid topping Olszewski 6-3, 6-1 at No. 1 singles, Streator coach John Sandoval says he like how his club has progressed as a whole so far this year despite having a younger group.
"Greg, like he has all season for us, played well at No. 1 singles and anytime you can get a win over an Ottawa opponent, that's a great thing to see," Sandoval said. "He is 14-3 now and all of his losses are to opponents who have been state qualifiers in the past. He should be in the top four seeds at sectional and has a great shot of going to state.
"I think all of my kids have improved a lot since the beginning of the season. They are frustrated with the lack of victories, and I can understand that, but I have seen progression. We are a pretty young group and they are holding their own, but we just don't have the consistency right now. The big picture is that the kids are getting the experience now to hopefully be competitive over the next couple of years."
Vargas defeated Streator's Tristen Geary at No. 2 singles 6-0, 6-1, before Marvel and Meyer won over Jason Houch and Alex Granados 6-1, 6-0.
"Things are going really well, but we just have to make sure to keep our heads on straight and just stay consistent through the conference tournament and then sectionals and hopefully state," said Meyer, who started teaming with Marvel in the last week of April. "We have good communication on the court which a big key in doubles play and we are getting better at the little things in each match we play together. I thought we did a very good job of controlling the net in both of our matches today."
Ottawa wrapped up the victory over the Bulldogs with Hancock/McGettigan besting Luke Elias and Caleb Hawthorne 6-0, 6-0, while Olesen/Sharp surged past Max Baker and Nate Beck 6-1, 6-2.
"I was pleased really pleased to see Max Vargas come back and get the win at No. 2 singles in his match against Streator," said Gross "His match against Mendota was a little rough for him, but he was able to get things going. The only thing I was concerned with at No.1 doubles was the fact that Nathan and Jack have played a lot of tennis the two weeks because of the weather. Andrew and Declan are slow starters for whatever reason, but they always seem to find a way put themselves in a position to in their matches like they did today. I thought Logan Olszewski and Tyler Olesen played some really text book points today as well."