Jones and Sparling have good showing at OFSAA Tennis

Adam Sparling and Nick Jones help cap off a good year for General Amherst tennis by advancing to the quarterfinals at OFSAA.

Special to the RTT

The General Amherst Boys Doubles Tennis Team of Adam Sparling and Nick Jones competed at the OFSSAA Tennis Championships on June 4 and 5.  Sparling and Jones are the reigning WECSSAA and SWOSSAA champions and would be facing the other regional champions from across Ontario.

Their first match was an eye-opener as the G.A. team faced an extremely tough opening draw.

Despite fighting valiantly, they were topped by a 6-3 score.  The tournament is a double knockout format and Sparling and Jones could not afford to lose again.

Another tough opponent awaited them in round two. The boys fell behind 3-1 before digging in their heels and developing a strategy that would propel them to a 6-4 victory and life for another day.

On day two, the pair displayed their talents brilliantly in disposing of a challenging Northern Ontario team in quick fashion with a decisive 8-3 result.

The pace of the matches picked up as many teams were eliminated.  Stamina would be an issue for all as the day wore on through the afternoon heat.

The next opponent was their old SWOSSAA finals foe from Sarnia who was seeking revenge.  The boys  were having none of it early on however, jumping out to a quick 4-0 lead as all of their shots on Tuesday till this point had the Midas touch.

Their momentum came to a halt at this point though as the steady St. Christopher duo chipped away to vault to a 7-5 lead and one game from victory.  Sparling and Jones have succeeded all season in tight scenarios and this match would be no different.  Holding serve and breaking their opponents led to a 7-7 score and the imminent tiebreaker.  Again the boys got ahead early but Sarnia got even at 5-5 in the breaker before Sparling and Jones nerves of steel prevailed in a 7-5 win.

The third match of day two would be a tilt with a Grand River tandem.  This match was a seesaw affair before General Amherst fell behind 7-5 again.  Once more, the pressure-proven locals would fight off a pair of match points, pull even and grab the tiebreaker in another nail-biter by an 8-6 score.

The boys thought that they were done for the day and ready for a well-deserved rest but were unfortunately scheduled to play the

same opponent they faced in round one in their fourth match of the day.  A combination of three matches (including two tie-breakers) in a day plus a very formidable opponent proved to be too much in the end.

A special thanks to coach Nancy Loeffler-Caro for her kind and committed guidance and training of Sparling and Jones into the team that made an admirable showing for themselves and their school by becoming WECSSAA and SWOSSAA champions as well as reaching the quarter-finals of OFSSAA.

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