By GREG MENGELT
NEW ALBANY —
Floyd Central’s boys’ tennis team won for the 32nd time in its last 33 matches against rival New Albany, but Wednesday’s meeting may have been the tightest matchup since the 2002.
With the score tied at 2-2, New Albany’s No. 1 doubles team of Tanner Goller and Jake Kennard was on the verge of giving the Bulldogs’ their first win over Floyd in 11 years. The New Albany duo led Floyd’s Jack Stoner and Alex Saxon 5-1 in the third set before Stoner and Saxon won the final six games to give the Highlanders the season-opening victory.
“They really dug in,” Floyd Central assistant coach Brandon Miller said of Stoner and Saxon. “The match was a lot of fun. Both teams really wanted to win.”
New Albany won at No. 2 singles behind Alec Bates’ 7-5, 6-4 win over Duncan Bishop and at No. 2 doubles with Nick White’s and Jacob Stevens’ 6-2, 6-3 win over Austin Ivey and Reed Plunkett.
Floyd’s Ryan Plunkett edged Logan Charbonneau 7-5, 6-4 at No. 1 singles and Chris Boone earned a 6-4, 6-3 win over Zach Daniel at No. 2 singles for the Highlanders.
“New Albany and Floyd Central are very evenly matched,” Miller said. “Both teams have a lot of talent and both are only going to get better.
• Dragons sweep Charlestown: Silver Creek dropped just 11 games in a 5-0 Mid-Southern Conference sweep of Charlestown on Wednesday.
Brennan Thompson earned a victory at No. 1 singles over Ben Delaney 6-1, 6-2, Nick Sprikle defeated Kyle Jackson 6-0, 6-2 at No. 2 singles, and at No. 3 single, Jake Steele breezed to a 6-2, 6-0 win over Tyler Massie.
The Dragons doubles teams of Gabe Bauer and Isaac Corum at No.1 and Max Moore and Braden McCarthy lost just four games combined.
“We don’t really have anything to complain about,” Silver Creek coach Robert Briscoe said. “It’s hard to complain when you only lose 11 games in a varsity contest, but we did see some things that we need to work on to make a nice little tournament run when we get to October.”
• Mann leads Jeff to 5-0 victory: Sophomore Ben Mann, who was playing in just his second varsity game, scored four first-half goals to lift Jeffersonville to a 5-0 victory over St. Francis (Ky.) in the North Oldham Mustang Classic on Wednesday.
Mann scored in the fourth, eighth, 22nd and 26th minutes to give the Red Devils a 4-0 halftime lead.
“He’s got a lot of potential,” Jeff coach Carson Webb said of Mann. “He’s very eager to do what he can to help the team. With his work ethic, he’s a coach’s dream.”
Jeff has outscored two Kentucky opponents 8-0 in the first two games of the tournament. The Devils will face Kentucky Country Day on Saturday in the semifinal with the championship at 8 p.m.
“I’m excited about the results we’ve had,” Webb said. “To be two games in with eight goals for and zero against, nothing could be better than that. That’s a dream start.”
Leonard Kwitonda, who assisted on one of Mann’s first-half goals, capped the scoring midway through the second half.
• Floyd, Jeff to meet in Firefighter Cup final: Floyd Central beat New Albany 3-0 and Jeffersonville topped Providence 1-0 in Wednesday’s junior varsity Firefighters’ Cup semifinals. Jeff and Floyd will meet in the championship on Saturday; the Pioneers and Bulldogs will face off in the consolation at Jeffersonville.
• Generals drop heartbreaker: After opening the season with a win over South Central on Monday, Clarksville had its second victory in its grasp on Wednesday.
However, after winning the first two sets, Southwestern won the final three, including 15-11 in the fifth, for the comeback win.
“I’m really proud of the girls tonight,” Clarksville coach John McEwen said. “They came out strong and were just unable to close it out. It is early in the season and now we know what we need to work on. Hats off to Southwestern for not giving up and fighting back.”
Kayla Wallace had 25 digs and 10 aces — both team bests — for the Generals. Ali Sparkman led Clarksville with 25 kills and also had 13 digs. Freshman Carol Hawkins had six aces, including four during an eight-point rally in the fifth set.
• Charlestown falls in opener: In its first game under new coach Tammy Nuxoll, Charlestown fell to MSC rival Corydon Central 25-11, 25-19, 25-6 on Friday.
Lauren Crowe led the Pirates with five kills and Megan Brooks had a team-best eight assists.
“For a first match, I am proud of my players for their effort on the court,” Nuxoll said. “I thought we put a few good stretches together, but we need to be more consistent. ... I look forward to getting back to practice and improving in our next match.”
• Madison gets by Providence: Colleen Gelderman shot a 40 for Providence, but the Pioneers fell to Madison, 173-194 at Sunrise Golf Course on Tuesday.
Brooklin Grantz shot a 49, Mary Ann Fitzpatrick finished the course in 52 strokes and Alexa Wilson shot a 53 for the Pioneers.