Jeremy Garling had mixed emotions when the singles portion of the South Western-Central York boys' tennis match concluded on Monday afternoon.
Garling, who plays No. 4 for Central, won his match, 6-3, 6-1, but South Western players captured the other four singles matches to clinch the team victory and the York-Adams Division I title.
The teams split the two doubles matches (played in eight-game pro sets) for a 5-2 South Western triumph and the Mustangs' third division crown in the past four years.
"That (losing the match) was the disappointing part," Garling said. "I feel bad for our seniors. We have a ton of seniors."
Garling had to feel good about the way he played this season. The Panthers' junior went undefeated in dual matches.
"I'm a lot better than last year," Garling said. "My mental game is better, and my forehand is better. It's a turning point (of his career) this year."
Garling had some rough spots in his match against South Western's Michael Fabrick.
"In the beginning of the match, I kind of struggled a little bit," Garling said. "After I broke his serve (for 2-1), things started to turn around. My serve was on, and I took the momentum. He (Fabrick) is a good opponent. He has a sliced backhand, and I hadn't played anyone who had that."
Fabrick's teammates won in their singles matches in straight sets, but Central's players had their moments, particularly at No. 2 and No. 3. Central's Chris Maderitz led 5-4 at No. 2 and had three set points in the opening set. However, South Western's Ben Sentz fought off the set points and ended up winning the match, 7-5, 6-0. In the No. 3 match, South Western's Gavin Kenny outlasted Central's Raphael Hotea, 6-4, 7-6 (4).
"We had some missed opportunities today," Central coach Eric Sweitzer said. "Chris was up, 5-4 with three set points at No. 2, that was a killer. Raphael was up 5-3 (in the second set). Chris fell down 3-0 (in the first set), and he got his game together. He came up from five (No. 5 singles last year) to two. He can take this as a learning experience."
The York-Adams season may be over for both teams, but the Mustangs and Panthers have qualified for the District 3-AAA Team Tournament.
"I feel the 3-2 format (three singles and two doubles matches with no repeats) used in districts will be good for us because we have depth," Sweitzer said. "We were hoping to get into doubles today because we've done some positive things in doubles this year. Congratulations to Kristen (South Western coach Kristen Meyer). We weren't good enough today, but we're a better team than we were at the beginning of the season."
Central will take an overall mark of 11-1 into the district tournament.
York Catholic takes crown: At the same time that South Western secured the Division I title, York Catholic sewed up the Division II championship with a 6-1 victory over Delone Catholic.
Michael Andrews, Scott Bartkowiak, Isaac Higgins, Nick Bartkowiak and Thomas Thole earned singles points for the Fighting Irish, who closed at 7-0 in league matches. Andrews outlasted Ben Gutierrez in a three-set match at No. 1 singles, 6-3, 5-7, 1-0 (10-6).
The title was the first for York Catholic since the 2009 Fighting Irish team finished on top of the division .
OTHER BOYS' TENNIS
York Suburban 7, Dover 0: At Suburban, Elliot Diehl and Michael Peck won in singles and doubles for the Trojans, who improved to 6-1 in Division II. Ben Strine, Matthew Manzella and Cooper Lando also earned singles wins.
Red Lion 5, Gettysburg 0: At Gettysburg, Sam Innerst, Angel Moyer and Alec Gayrama each picked up a singles victory for the Lions, who improved to 11-3 overall.
Hanover 6, Northeastern 1: At Manchester, Cameron Bosserman and Tony Magana won in singles and doubles for Hanover. Logan Fries won at No. 1 singles for the Bobcats.
New Oxford 7, West York 0: At West York, Mat Conrad won in singles and doubles to power the Colonials.
Dick VanOlinda writes about high school sports for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.