It was the last home tennis meet of the season, as the Morris hosted the Coal City on Thursday night, and for four Morris seniors, that meant it’d be the last home meet of their careers.
Captain Mark Kijowski, Trevor Allbert, Mike Funk and Chris Cassidy went out victorious, as the Redskins edged the Coalers, 3-2.
Kijowski, an all-conference performer in 2013, got the Redskins off to a solid start with a win in straight sets (6-1, 6-1) over Carlos Shoemaker of Coal City. The quick victory gave Morris a needed boost, as the match would come down to two long doubles matches.
“Mark’s done a great job leading our team all year,” Morris coach Keith Anderson said after the victory. “For him to come out and set the tone quickly and then be able to give advice to the guys, was fantastic.”
“I’ve always tried to set a good example for the guys. I can’t always get the win, but on a day like today where I was able to get it done, hopefully the rest of the team will follow me and we can all get some wins,” Kijowski said after his victory.
In the No. 2 singles match, Jon Smyk continued Morris’ momentum with another straight set win, 6-2 and 6-0.
Coal City got one on the board when it claimed a win in the No. 3 doubles pairing, as Kevin Soto and Bailey Durkin defeated Brian Halderson and Brandon Vazquez, 6-1, 6-2.
However, in the No. 2 doubles matchup, Allbert and his playing partner David Carlos clinched a win for the Redskins with a win over Trent Sula and Nick Holmes of Coal City. The match came down to a tiebreaker in the final set with Morris winning, 3-6, 6-4 and 7-6 (7-2).
“Trevor is just a natural athlete. He’s never picked up a racquet before this year, and he’s been able to rely on his athleticism and win some matches and his pairing with David (Carlos) got the job done,” Anderson said. “They’ve been really good at finishing matches, and it was nice to see him get the job done.”
Coal City won the final match, as the No. 1 doubles group of Zach Vincent and Mike McGinn defeated Matt Borgstrom and Chris Chaidez of Morris.
“I was very happy with those guys,” Coal City head coach Matt Leman said. “I was frustrated with the beginning because we weren’t playing to our potential, but, as the match showed, when we play to out potential we can come out on top.”
Morris improved to 4-9 with the win, while Coal City dropped to 4-10.