Boys’ Tennis Tops Kiski in Season Finale

Saturday, May 15, 2021
The Storm sent Head Coach Eric Hicks (pictured here
with Dylan Gantt ’21) out a winner

Mercersburg’s boys’ tennis team swept all three doubles matches to claim the opening point and took four of six singles matches against host Kiski to finish its 2021 campaign with a 5–2 win over the Cougars in a contest played at Greensburg Racquet Club in Greensburg, PA.

The #3 doubles team of Arnav Pallapothu ’23 and Declan Butts ’22 put Mercersburg in control with a quick 8–1 win, and Jamie Talley ’23 and Goshi Kamiya ’23 survived a furious rally to defeat their Kiski opponents 9—7 to clinch the doubles point. Dylan Gantt ’21 and Luis Gomez ’21 (who compiled a perfect 4–0 mark as a team this season) also won their match.

Gomez, Talley, Kamiya, and Butts all won their singles matches to help Mercersburg complete this unusual season with a 2–2 overall mark.

#1   Tobia Piatelli (K) d. Dylan Gantt ’21 (M): 6-4, 7-5
#2   Luis Gomez ’21 (M) d. Dimitri Dumbadze (K): 6-0, 6-2
#3   Colin O’Reilly (K) d. Arnav Pallapothu ’23 (M): 6-4, 5-7, MT (10-8)
#4   Jamie Talley ’23 (M) d. Zander Szilagy (K): 7-6 (7-2), 6-0
#5   Goshi Kamiya ’23 (M) d. Luke Waltrie (K): 6-0, 6-0
#6   Declan Butts ’22 (M) d. Jack Boyle (K): 6-0, 5-1 (retired)

#1   Dylan Gantt/Luis Gomez (M) d. Tobia Piatelli/Dimitri Dumbadze (K): 8-6
#2   Jamie Talley/Goshi Kamiya (M) d. Colin O’Reilly/Zander Szilagy (K): 9-7
#3   Arnav Pallapothu/Declan Butts (M) d. Luke Waltrie/Jack Boyle (K): 8-1

"Everyone contributed to the win today and everyone played pretty well," said Mercersburg head coach Eric Hicks, who coached his final Blue Storm tennis match after a storied 29-year career at the school. "The singles matches were chock full of excellent points."

Other notes from Coach Hicks:

"Gantt and Piatelli had several points where the rally count exceeded 40. It was a grueling match. Piatelli liked to play from far behind the baseline. Gantt did well to mix up his play—trying to move Piatelli around with baseline drop shots and angles. If Gantt’s serve hadn’t let him down today during a few key no-ad points, the outcome might have been different... Gomez ended the season undefeated in singles. He used his foot speed, his big forehand, and well-hit slice backhands to cruise at #2 singles... Pallapothu did well to come from behind and get his match into a match tiebreaker. O’Reilly responded well to the challenge by leading in the tiebreaker the entire way. Pallapothu fought off a couple match points until his serve let him down on O’Reilly’s fourth match point... Talley fought through some frustration during a tight first set but he pulled things together in the tiebreaker. He cruised through the next set—one of the best he’s played this year... Kamiya finished the season undefeated in singles. He put on a clinic and finished his match in under 40 minutes... Butts established an early lead in singles and continued his steady and attacking play throughout."