Kirtland’s Reid Friedenberg stepped up in a clutch situation to lead the Hornets to a 3-2 win at Perry on Wednesday.
Four out of the five matches had concluded leaving all eyes on Friedenberg as he pulled out a 6-4, 4-6, 10-8 win to seal Kirtland’s victory on the clay courts at Pine Lake Tennis Club.
“Everyone was really excited,” Friedenberg said. “As soon as I walked off the court, everyone started chanting, ‘States, States, States.’”
Mike Schnur and Alex Weaver won at first doubles, 6-1, 6-1, and the Hornets collected a forfeit in second doubles to take an early 2-0 advantage.
“The young Hornets had a dramatic win today,” said Kirtland coach Bob Lasecki. “Being on clay courts for the first time was an adjustment for the team but that didn’t stop our doubles teams as they won two quick matches to give us 2-0 lead.”
Perry pulled out dramatic wins in first and second singles to tie the match, despite losing the first set in each match and Kirtland’s Kyle Lutz and Justin Aranavage forcing the third set into the tiebreaker.
“We knew from the start that it wouldn’t be easy,” Lasecki said. “Perry has some strong singles players. It wasn’t easy as Kyle lost a heartbreaking match in tiebreakers. Then the attention went to Justin at No. 2 where he also lost a nailbiter in tiebreakers.”
With the match tied at 2-2, both teams circled the court around the third singles matchup.
“Reid went to tiebreakers and got the win,” Lasecki said. “It was a great win for Reid, who has worked hard to improve and was clutch today. Coach Harvey and I think it is awesome how this team rallies around each other. It was that energy that helped us win today. Getting the ‘W’ from our doubles and No. 3 is huge for our confidence and will pay off later in the season.”
Kirtland travels to Andrews-Osborne on Thursday and hosts Wickliffe on Friday.