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April 21, 2021

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Bulldog netters edged in chilly home opener by T-Birds

First match on the refurbished, purple and gold War Memorial Park courts

Story and photos by Cort Reynlds
ADA - The host Ada tennis team lost a 3-2 heartbreaker to Lima Central Catholic in the home opener on a cold and windy Wednesday evening during the first Bulldog varsity match on the new park courts.

The Thunderbirds improved to 3-0 with the hard-fought win, while Ada fell to 0-2 after the difficult loss.

Featuring an improved first serve and solid net play, Bulldog sophomore southpaw Dexter Woods III rolled to a 6-1, 6-1 victory at second singles. 

Brendan Jameson picked up the other Ada win by forfeit at third singles. 

Both Bulldog doubles tandems fell in straight sets.

"First match on the refurbished, purple and gold War Memorial Park courts," noted Ada head coach Dexter Woods. "Thanks to the park board, the Ada Citizens Tennis Committee and the USTA (grant money." 

Individual match results:
1st singles: Aaron Simmons def. Miranda Wills (Ada) 7-5, 7-6 (7-4)
2nd singles: Dexter Woods (Ada) def. Brayden Hubbard 6-1, 6-1    
3rd singles: Brendan Jameson (Ada) win by default 6-0, 6-0

1st doubles:  Allie Braglia/Hayden Bader (LCC) def. Amelia Alexander/Cole Anspaugh (Ada) 6-1, 6-2
2nd doubles: Zach Burns/Drew Hubbard (LCC) def. Colton Biederman/Abid Khan (Ada) 6-0, 6-1

Long rallies, lobs and cross-court shots
In the most compelling and longest match of the evening, Ada senior Miranda Wills battled into a second-set tiebreaker at first singles after losing the first set 7-5 to Aaron Simmons. 

The match featured consistently long rallies, lobs and cross-court shots amid the swirling wind and cold.

Wills fell behind Simmons 4-1 in the third set. She then became more aggressive with her groundstrokes and court positioning, and stormed back to seize a 5-4 lead. 

Despite a knee brace and injured right shoulder, she was two points from capturing the set when Simmons rallied to tie it 5-5. Simmons then won a long, seesaw deuce game to grab a 6-5 edge. Wills next held serve at love to force a tiebreaker at six-all.

Wills won the first point on a cross-court forehand, but lost the next on an error. Simmons pulled ahead 4-1 before Wills rallied again. She smacked a cross-court winner, then won a long rally to inch within 4-3.

Wills tied it 4-4 when a Thunderbird shot sailed long. But Simmons then won the next three points on extended rallies to win the tense tiebreaker, 7-4.

"Miranda continued her return to form with a close, two-hour loss with long points and long games," said Woods. "She showed her usual determined style as she did not give in and fought back in the second set after being down 1-4.

"Dexter employed his approach and volley game to successfully force the action at number two with freshman Hubbard," noted the coach.

"Brendan got a rest and victory by default as LCC was short a player," said Woods.     

"At first doubles,  Amelia and Cole had streaks of good play and worked to build their confidence against seniors Braglia and Bader," he added.    

"Colton and Abid played their very first varsity match and served well, but came up short against senior Burris and junior Hubbard," Woods added.

Ada plays next at Fostoria Wednesday, April 7.