Titusville head tennis coach Phil Taylor was hoping that his team, despite being a little young and inexperienced this season, could get involved in some close matches against programs in similar situations this season.
However, the thing about close matches is, the margin between a victory and a defeat can be quite thin indeed.
The Rockets found themselves on the wrong end of that margin during a Region 1 match against Rocky Grove Monday at Burgess Park.
The Rockets completed the singles competitions with a 2-1 lead, but couldn’t pull it out in the doubles matches, yielding the first win of the season to the Orioles, 3-2.
“That’s the way things are,” said Taylor. “With tennis, any given day something else can happen. So we’re learning through that. We’re a really young team. So, when we get a loss like this we can work off of it. A lot of our other losses were because those teams are further along in their programs. Their students are on a different level of tennis. But (the Rocky Grove match) was really close. And when it’s close, it’s like, ‘Man, one little change here, or one little thing here.’”
Rockets senior Ean Tudor won his match in first singles over Renner Weisman, 6-3, 6-1. And sophomore Lance Enright won third singles 6-1, 6-2 over Rocky Grove’s Connor Jones to give Titusville its two points.
However, the Orioles’ Gavin Empson salvaged a point from singles by defeating Colyn Donovan 6-2, 6-2.
Then Rocky Grove ran off two straight doubles wins, as Noah Rodgers and Mallory Wetjen beat Ava Hartshorne and Brooke Anthony, 6-2, 6-1; and Tyler Thompson and Desiree Dulaney topped Zach Wooten and Jacob Knapp, 6-3, 6-4.
That last match was a tough one for Taylor, as Wooten and Knapp had opportunities to steal that second set. But Thompson and Dulaney, after falling behind early, regrouped and ended the match in two.
“Tennis is extremely close,” said Taylor. “Say they’ve lost a match 6-0, 6-0. Every game could have gone deuce. But the scorecard still shows 6-0, 6-0.
“And that’s what happened today. A number of games were just one point away from going our way. And then the whole day is different. We had a lot of those close ones.
“I think we learned a valuable lesson today, with how close tennis is. It’s not something that you can just walk in and assume you’re going to get that win. You’ve got to work for it every time. So that’s kind of the takeaway this time.”