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May 25, 2018

5/15/2018 7:24:00 AM
Comeback classic by Matt Holmes highlights the weekend for Lakeland
Dean Hall/Lakeland Times

Jack Garcia leaps for a ball as doubles partner Tony Holmes looks on for Lakeland during a match against Medford on Thursday, May 10.
Dean Hall/Lakeland Times

Jack Garcia leaps for a ball as doubles partner Tony Holmes looks on for Lakeland during a match against Medford on Thursday, May 10.

Nick Sabato
River News reporter

A rainout of last Tuesday's boys' tennis match against Medford pushed it back to Thursday, meaning Lakeland played six dual meets in three days.

Medford 4, Lakeland 3

The Thunderbirds started their tough weekend stretch on Thursday with a Great Northern Conference dual meet against Medford.

Much like it did earlier in the week against Rhinelander, Lakeland came up just short against the Raiders in the 4-3 loss.

Aaron Petersen picked up his second consecutive win at No. 1 singles, while Matt Holmes scored another win at No. 2 singles and the top doubles team of Jack Garcia and Tony Holmes continued its winning ways for the T-Birds.

Pacelli-Ashland Triangular

On Friday, Lakeland hosted Pacelli in a GNC dual and Ashland in a non-conference dual to wrap up its regular season home slate.

After dropping back-to-back GNC meets by one match, the T-Birds were finally able to get over the hump with a 4-3 win over Pacelli in thrilling fashion.

With the match tied at 3-3, the lone match remaining on the court in the first round of the triangular was a duel between Matt Holmes and Pacelli's Corey Baron.

Baron took the first set 6-3, before Holmes stormed back from 5-4 and 6-5 deficits in the second set to force a tiebreaker.

Once again, Holmes would have to come back in a scenario where the first player to 10 (win by two) would take the match. Down 8-5, Holmes came all the way back to win 12-10, giving his team the victory in the process.

"His opponent is a runner with good lobs and a motor that goes on and on," LUHS head coach Ted Dasler said. "The first meeting between these two left Matt frustrated and exasperated. The only way to beat a player like this is to stay patient and attack when the moment presented itself. It took a set for Matt to find the right combination, but leading 2-0 he got what he thought was a bad call that swung a game and now it was 2-1. Nearly in tears Matt felt cheated and frustrated. We talked about staying focused on the next point and calling a line judge if it happens again."

Petersen continued his winning ways at No. 1 singles, recording a win that also required a tiebreaker. Petersen won 6-4, 4-6, 10-5.

Meanwhile Zach Kane picked up a big win at No. 3 singles, topping his opponent in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1.

Garcia and Tony Holmes also remained unbeaten in GNC play with a 3-6, 6-4, 10-6 win at No. 1 doubles.

Wausau East Invite

Lakeland completed its weekend by competing in the Wausau East Invite, taking fourth place.

The T-Birds dropped a 5-2 match to Wausau East, with Matt Holmes winning in straight sets at No. 2 doubles, 6-4, 6-2.

Meanwhile Garcia and Tony Holmes won another three-set affair, 6-0, 3-6, 10-8.

Against Stevens Point, Lakeland also dropped another 5-2 dual meet.

Once again Matt Holmes won at No. 2 singles, besting Morgan O'Keefe, 6-1, 6-0.

Garcia and Tony Holmes also won in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2 at No. 1 doubles.

Petersen fell in three sets at No. 1 singles to Jon Olson in a match in which the first two went a tiebreaker, 7-6, 6-7, 10-7.

Kane also lost in three sets, 6-2, 1-6, 5-10, at No. 3 singles.

In the final meet of the day, Lakeland lost yet another 5-2 match, this time to Altoona.

Matt Holmes remained perfect on the day, improving to 14-4 on the season with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Carter Ternburg.

Kane scored the other T-Bird win with two-set win over Andy Hoff, 6-4, 6-1, at No. 3 singles.

Lakeland is back in action Thursday for its final regular season match at Antigo before the GNC meet at Antigo on Friday and the WIAA sub-sectional Monday at Rhinelander.

Nick Sabato may be reached at nick@lakelandtimes.com or via Twitter @NickSabatoLT.

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