By Mark Jurgena
The Collinsville boys tennis squad has one week to go in their regular season. The team has shown improvement as the year has progressed as evidenced by their results in matches over the last ten days.
On May 21st, they traveled to Roxana and for the second time this season, beat the Shells. This time CHS picked up a 5-4 victory.
Collinsville had beaten Roxana 7-2 back on April 16th.
In the previous matchup with the Shells, Collinsville’s #1 player, Brad Lentz, fell in both his singles and doubles matches, however, this time his wins in both of those matches were one of the keys to the CHS team win.
“I worked with him, drilled him, started finding ways to address weaknesses,” said coach Marty Abilez. “He came back and won both his singles and doubles matches (against Roxana). So he learned, he understood the competition a little bit more. He came to the table and performed and beat him pretty handily.
“Hands down that guy from Roxana, he was an athlete. To see our guy come through and take him down…I had to congratulate him for it. I’ll have to go out on a limb and say he was maybe our player of the year. Just for hanging strong at the end and taking that match to bring us through.”
May 25th saw them travel to Greenville. While they ended up falling to the South Central Conference champions 8-1, CHS was able to claim one victory. The matches against the Comets turned on one break of service in the vast majority of sets.
The following day they traveled to Civic Memorial. Due to low numbers on the part of CM, they were only able to get three matches in, but the Kahoks won all three.
Lentz won his #1 singles match 6-1, 6-4. He later combined with Lucas Schraeder for an 8-0 win in doubles.
Damien Dedmon won his match against CM as well.
The team will compete in the Class 2A Belleville West Sectional beginning June 4.