AVON LAKE — Nick Janos and Jeremy Wiersh found themselves in a hole in the first doubles championship at the Lorain County Athletic Administrators Association tournament on Saturday.
They didn’t want to be the only Eagles to lose in the final, so they dug deep after dropping the opening set to Oberlin’s Grant Martz and Oliver Knijnenburg, rallying to win a tight second set and then clinched the title 4-6, 7-5 (7-5), 6-3.
The win secured a sweep of the podium, as Avon won all three singles and both doubles draws with the Oberlin duo the only ones to take a set from the Eagles in a final.
“We got in our groove and started to play our game,” said Wiersh, a junior. “We kept our energy up and we really wanted it. We believed in each other and it paid off. That was a really, really tough match. They did a good job on their part and really made us work for it. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Martz, a sophomore, and Knijnenburg, a freshmen, proved to be a formidable duo as they jumped on Avon’s top team 5-0 in the first, holding on for a 6-4 win. Avon couldn’t protect 30-0 leads in two games, escaping with a win and then dropping a break to give Oberlin a chance to serve for the match. However, a pair of double faults and an unforced error put the Phoenix in a 0-40 hole. Avon broke back two points later.
The tiebreak went back and forth until Avon won two straight — an unforced error by Oberlin and a winner by Janos to clinch to second set. The Eagles settled in to break twice for a 5-2 lead and split to close out the championship.
“We knew we had them on the ropes a little bit, even though we were down,” Janos said. “Once we started hitting our returns a little more solid, we started clicking. It feels so good to win. I couldn’t imagine going home without first place this year since it’s my last year. It’s the best ending to a senior year. I’m just really happy.”
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