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Oakville Senior High boys' tennis team drops difficult 4-3 decision to Vianney

Building on to the traditions and success of previous years is one of the main goals for the boys' tennis team at Oakville Senior High School

Last season the Tigers won the Class 2, District 1 championship and lost to Lafayette in the sectional championship game.

"Right now we're in the process of building a nice program at Oakville," co-head coach Michelle Wood told the Call. "We already have a successful program, we're just trying to build off of that."

Wood and co-head coach Linda Gebauer have set up a program where tennis is introduced to students at the middle school level.They also have organized summer camps for Oakville students to get another taste of the sport.

In their season-long preparation for the district tournament next month, the Tigers dropped a tough 4-3 decision to Vianney on the road last Thursday.

The Tigers have a solid core of five seniors this season, which should provide consistent leadership for this year's team.

Senior Brett Palecek will be the Tigers' No. 1 singles player, while classmate John Hughes will play in the No. 2 singles slot.

"Brett's an experienced player that has a lot of different weapons available," Wood said. "John, on the other hand, is a player that really likes to take advantage of the net."

Juniors Matt Tod and Bobby Silvey will play at the No. 3 and No. 4 singles slots respectively this season.

"Bobby played doubles last year and has been doing really well," Wood said. "I think he has a lot of potential."

Like Silvey, Tod also played doubles for the Tigers last season and moved into the singles position.

"Last year, Matt played doubles but moved up to singles this year," Wood said. "He's really taken advantage of working on his game during the winter season."

Senior Matthew Rivlin and junior Kevin Nicolette have done well as Oakville's No. 1 doubles squad, despite not playing together before the beginning of the 2004 campaign.

"They're playing doubles together for the first time this year," Wood explained. "We feel that they've been working really well together and have done a good job."

The No. 2 doubles team of seniors Brian Anderson and Andy Ray is another one of the reasons why the Tigers will be strong in doubles play throughout the season.

"Andy's one of two soccer players that have tried out for the team this year," Wood said. "He's a very athletic kid that's really helped us out a lot."

Teaming Ray's athleticism with Anderson's experience should be a deadly 1-2 punch for the Tigers.

"Brian has a really big game and when he gets it going, it's going to be a winner a lot of times," Wood said.

At No. 3 doubles, junior David Lord and sophomore Nick Tanette still are learning the ropes at doubles play, yet Wood likes what she sees so far this season.

"They're still developing their doubles game right now," Wood said. "They've stepped up into the lineup and we're pleased with what we've seen."

After their spring break, the Tigers are back in action next Wednesday as they play host to St. Mary's.

The Tigers' non-conference showdown with the Dragons is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

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