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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Jun 22, 2017

Payback: Victory for FHS

By ALLAN MANDELL, LEDGER SPORTS EDITOR | May 03, 2017
Photo by: ALLAN MANDELL Elijah Parr competes for Fairfield on Tuesday.

Fairfield junior Logan Williams was tied in games with Fort Madison’s Austin Krueger, 3-3.

This was Set 1 of their best-of-three singles match at Fairfield Middle School on Tuesday.

Williams had the serve and was leading their seventh first-set game, 40-15.

A solid serve by Williams was returned by Krueger with a strong forehand shot, forcing Williams to remain on the backline.

Williams hit a lob and Krueger eagerly raced forward. Just a few feet from the net, Krueger delivered an inbounds, close-to-the-sideline wallop. It was a great shot by Krueger.

But Williams didn’t give up on the Krueger smash.

“When a guy goes to the net like that,” said Williams, “I like to give them all I got.”

Williams raced to his right, barely catching up to the tennis ball. Then he swung his racket, connecting squarely with that ball, and then watched.

The ball, on a dart, sailed right past a stunned Krueger. Williams had the point, the game and led 4-3.

“On a play like that, it will either be hit or miss and I got the hit right there,” Williams said. “I did see he got a little angry. I guess that was the turning point of the match.”

To say the least.

From that point forward, Williams never lost another game, finishing off Set 1 with a 6-3 win and taking the second set 6-0.

Once Williams left the court, he kept hearing more good news from teammates.

Navin Martin breezed past Bloodhound Dante Seaney 6-1, 6-3.

Trojan Gabe Dezzeo also won easily, taking down Blake Feuerhammer 6-2, 6-2.

Gannon Courtright defeated Fort Madison’s Johnny Hernandez 6-4, 6-2.

Last, Trojan Elijah Parr won a come-from-behind thriller (6-2, 2-6, 10-7) over Sam Avery.

With Fairfield having won five contests in singles, the overall match was clinched. Ahead 5-1, the three doubles matches wouldn’t even figure in the outcome.

What’s that old saying? Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Well it tastes pretty good served in wind, too.

Fort Madison had defeated visiting Fairfield 5-4 on April 25.

It was nice to turn the tables. The Trojans’ 6-3 win on Tuesday, played in a brutal wind, means Fairfield (3-5 overall, 2-3 Southeast Conference) improved its seeding in Monday’s conference meet.

“We had played pretty well against them last week,” Williams said. “But in the end we didn’t get the result we had wanted. So we wanted to make things right this time.”

Which they did, and against a good opponent, too. Fort Madison is 5-3 overall, 5-2 in conference action.

“Well,” said Courtright, “it is fun if you come back to beat someone that you lost to earlier in the season, especially to a rival like Fort Madison.”

Courtright had suffered a defeat against Hernandez last week. On Tuesday, Courtright was in command.

“I was just focusing better this time,” Courtright said. “I lost a close one to him last time so this time I wanted to take control, believe in myself and be more aggressive.”

Of the overall team win, Martin said, “I’d say revenge was important: Our guys just went for it today. It was very nice not to have to sweat too much. Last week, we had five tiebreakers with them in our match.”

In his Tuesday tiebreaker, Parr faced a 5-1 deficit.

“I was just making a lot of bad errors to start the tiebreaker,” Parr said. “But I was thinking, ‘I’m tired, but stick with it. You’re almost there.’”

Parr climbed back, ultimately tying things at 7-7. Parr had the serve and Avery hit a smash to Parr’s backhand.

Then Parr’s backhanded return flew by Avery, hit inbounds then ricocheted off the fence.

Trojan head coach Bill Sheppard was watching.

“That,” he said quietly, “is how you hit a backhand.”

Parr kept the foot to the floor, winning the final two points, clinching the match for Fairfield.

“I did hear what Coach said to me after that backhand shot,” Parr said.

“I had been hitting a one-hand slice and he wanted me to use both hands. He’s been saying to me, ‘You have a good backhand, use it.’”

Parr kept rolling, teaming up with Williams to win a doubles match 6-2, 4-6, 11-9.

“We turned the tables on Fort Madison,” said Sheppard postmatch.

Said Courtright, “Revenge was nice, definitely.”

 

 

 

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