Eureka Wildcats Win Sectional
May 20, 2012By Tom Mayer of Eureka High School - Tennis
With Andy Schmid's overhead smash winner, the Eureka high school boys tennis team won its Sectional Tournament and is now one of only four teams still standing in the state team tournament. They will play Rockbridge in the semifinals next Thursday, May 24th.
The Wildcats won their first match of the day on Saturday, defeating St. Louis University High 5-2. They got four singles victories against SLUH: James Huang at #1, Collin Mayer at #2, Michael Huang at #3, and Andy Schmid at #4. James and Michael Huang brought an end to the match by winning their #1 doubles contest. The team victory moved them on to the state quarterfinals later that day.
Although the Wildcats had beaten the Cape Central Tigers earlier in the year, the Tigers came with the intention to win. With all the singles matches on court together, Pablo Jarmillo won a quick first set off James Huang, 6-1. Since Huang had won their first meeting, this was a blow to Wildcat confidence. Although, Huang took the second set 6-2, it was long and closely contested.
As all the other singles matches came off the court with only one loss, it would be possible to end the match with a win my Huang. However, Jarmillo was counter punching Huang's powerful serve and forehand with classic slice strokes, extending every rally to the limit. With the Huang/Jarmillo contest looking like it would go the distance, Coach Conley began #2 and #3 doubles. Shortly after Huang dropped the third set tie breaker, Mayer and Schmid won at #2 doubles with Schmid's overhead smash.
That would have been all the drama necessary for one day, but another story deserves space here. Matt Varner played his entire match after being stung twice by a wasp during his first match of the day against SLUH. Although he lost against Cape, he withstood nausea and a bout of throwing up to finish, which makes him a winner by any standard.
The Wildcats will need every bit of courage and fight they have to win a match at state. Given their 20-0 dual match record, perhaps the season has proven that fight is exactly what they will bring with them to Springfield next Thursday.