It may have been only the second match of the season, and second of the day, but sophomore Paul Clancey’s overhead smash to cap a dramatic four-match comeback for Evergreen is one of those highlights that can define a season.
The Cougars opened their season with a pair of victories Aug. 21 at The Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs, first a 5-2 defeat of Aspen and then a 4-3 win over Steamboat Springs after dropping all three singles matches.
Clancey and partner G. Stone scored the decisive victory with a 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 win, including 7-5 in the third-set tiebreakder, over Steamboat Springs’ Kyle Rogers and Ben Seigel.
“It was really cool. Everybody else was finished and it was a big weekend with all the parents with us,” Evergreen first-year head coach Bruce Kerry said. “There were a couple hundred people there. When we finally won the place just erupted.”
The win over Steamboat Springs is quite rare. Kerry said that school athletic director Tony Barnett told him that he couldn’t remember the last time the Cougars beat the Sailors, if ever.
“Steamboat is one of our toughest matches this season,” Kerry said.
In all, Evergreen won seven of eight doubles matches in the two victories. The Cougars’ No. 2 doubles team of Cameron Sadler and Adam Wildenburg and No. 3 squad of Brad Lindsay and Steve Jensen also went 2-0 on the day.
It’s a good start for an Evergreen team that sent nine of its 11 varsity players to state a year ago, but was missing top singles players Brian Repko (back) and Peter Haffinger (ankle) due to early-season injuries.
EVERGREEN 5, ASPEN 2
No. 1 singles: Bryan Mehall, Aspen, def. Nate Chart, 7-6, 6-1
No. 2 singles: Stephen Hardy, Evergreen, def. Michael Willsky, 6-0, 4-6, 7-6
No. 3 singles: Matt Golub, Evergreen, def. Brett Gordon, 6-4, 7-5
No. 1 doubles: Brian DeRosa/Stevie Anderson, Aspen, def. Seth Purkey/Jack Staebel, -6, 7-5, 7-5
No. 2 doubles: Cameron Sadler/Adam Wildenburg, Evergreen, def. Kalen Gabow/Brad Broeking, 6-2, 6-3
No. 3 doubles: Brad Lindsay/Steve Jensen, Evergreen, def. Rocky Tschappat/Victor Robinson, 6-2, 6-3
No. 4 doubles: G. Stone/Paul Clancey, Evergreen def. Miles Kaelin/Grant Goodman, 6-2, 6-2
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS 3
No. 1 singles: Keegan Burger, Steamboat Springs, def. Nate Chart, 6-3, 6-2
No. 2 singles: Miriko Erspamer, Steamboat Springs, def. Stephen Hardy, 7-5, 7-5
No. 3 singles: Jack Burger, Steamboat Springs, def. Matt Golub, 1-6, 6-0, 6-2
No. 1 doubles: Seth Purkey/Jack Staebel, Evergreen, def. Karsten Thompson/Jack Massey, 6-0, 6-2
No. 2 doubles: Cameron Sadler/Adam Wildenburg, Evergreen, def. Gabri Erspamer/Eric Owen, 7-5, 7-5
No. 3 doubles: Brad Lindsay/Steve Jensen, Evergreen, def. Kyle Rogers/Ben Seigel, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4
No. 4 doubles: G. Stone/Paul Clancey, Evergreen def. Corbin Diehl/Quinn Cain, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6