Bucs Tennis Team bounce back after first loss of 2022, improve to 12-1

The doubles duos of Bailey Clevenger/ Donovan Cutlip and Mauricio Menendez and Hank Phillips. KRISTEN HARVEY /The Record Delta

WESTON — The highly-touted, veteran Buckhannon-Upshur High School Boy’s Tennis Team faced a full slate of games last week. After sweeping Philip Barbour and Fairmont Senior at home on Monday, April 11, then doing the same to Robert C. Byrd, Grafton at home the very next day on Tuesday, April 12. The Lady Bucs then traveled North on I-79 to Bridgeport to take on the Indians for a road match on Wednesday, April 13, in which the Bucs lost their first team match-up of the season against the Bridgeport Indians’ potent line-up. The Bucs ended the day having been swept in all their matches in a series for the first time all season, in a 7-0 team loss to the Indians.  

However, the Bucs rebounded from their lone loss of the week/year with a pair of victories to cap off a busy week of action for head coach Jason Rock’s team. It did not take long for the Bucs to get back to their dominating winning ways, defeating rival Lewis County Minutemen on Thursday, April 14; taking the series win by a 5-2 tally.  

The Bucs followed the huge rivalry win up with a lengthy trip to Moundsville on Saturday, April 16 for an away series against John Marshall. Collectively, the Bucs took the series win over John Marshall, nearly missing out on securing another series sweep, finishing with a 6-1 mark as a team. 

Coach Rock took a minute to discuss his takeaways from the week, saying, “I think that, early on, in the #1-seed singles match against Stalnaker (Lewis County), Aden was having trouble to getting to his spots and finding counters for shots. By the time he had established a rhythm, it was a case of too little, too late. Our #3-seeded doubles team of Bailey Cleavenger and Donovan Cutlip played a very competitive match that went to a tiebreaker. The entire match was a rollercoaster. It was one of those rare matches in which you hate to see either team lose because both duos played great matches, respectively. I was proud of the fight those two showed. Then the John Marshall trip was a true test. The ride was long, then we had to battle the elements as we faced a two-hour rain delay before we finally got on the court to start play. However, once play started, our matches went quickly and it turned into a very pleasant evening. I’m particularly proud of the way the team of Mauricio Menendez and Hank Phillips played in doubles. They faced an early deficit, but rallied to win five straight games, really turning up the intensity and outmatching their opponents in the second half of the match. At the beginning of the season, I think that they would have struggled to pull that one out, but I think with the experience they have gained so far this season, they have grown so much as a pair. Their mentalities and team chemistry have come a long way and those two are becoming a better and better team each match.” 

The two wins lifted the Bucs to 12-1 on the season. 


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