Student Sports Information Director
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Even before it began, the excitement for the upcoming tennis season at Guerin Catholic was palpable. One of the things that made the off-season so exciting was the hire of new head coach Chris Sciaudone. Sciaudone knew that even though he had been away from tennis for many years, when the head coaching position opened at Guerin Catholic it was a no-brainer.
“I was excited for the opportunity to be involved at a school that means so much to my family and myself.”
With 36 boys on the roster this fall all striving towards the same goal, one can easily see that the Golden Eagles are building something special with their boys tennis program.
The Golden Eagles are scheduled to square off against the Brebeuf Braves on Friday night with a chance to earn the school’s third boys tennis title. Sciaudone and his players are embracing the challenge while also trying to continually get better in what has been an interesting year to this point.
Sciaudone said, “So far the season has been a bit of a mixed bag, more due to the weather than anything else. We have a lot of tennis scheduled over the next three weeks, so hopefully Mother Nature will cooperate. Our schedule is chock full of ranked teams, and we embrace the challenge of facing the best Indiana has to offer.”
As for who will face Brebeuf from Guerin, sophomore Cole Metzger has held down the number one singles spot for the Golden Eagles this season. Although young, Sciaudone likes the way he is handling the situation.
“Your #1 guy always has a target on his back, but Cole has embraced that challenge. He has already faced some of the top guys in the state this year, and will see a few more before the season is over.”
Another key contributor to watch for the Golden Eagles is senior Michael Wade. As a junior, Wade held down the number one singles spot quite a bit and, therefore, has a lot of experience playing in big-time matches. Lastly, the number three singles spot is currently held by freshman Jak Kolb. Kolb’s competitiveness and willingness to play anywhere the coaches have asked him has gotten him many great opportunities in his first year with the program.
Seniors Michael Aikman and Simon Paris are currently playing number one doubles and, according to Coach Sciaudone, have been a reliable pairing.
For the Braves, head coach Brandon Gill seems pleased with how the season has gone so far.
“We have performed well this year,” said Gill. “Obviously you want to always try to get better as the season goes on, and while we value the regular season, we know that we need to play our best when it’s sectionals time.”
Having so many players he can rely on to play well when it matters most is a huge benefit for Gill and has clearly contributed to the team’s overall success. One of these players is David Hopper, their number one singles player. Gill stated Hopper is capable of beating anyone on any given day. Therefore, the matchup between him and Cole Metzger of Guerin Catholic should be fun to watch.
Matching up against Guerin Catholic’s number one doubles team of Aikman and Paris will be Conner Carlock and Chase Hutchinson. Along with having the responsibility of playing number one doubles, Carlock and Hutchinson are also asked by the coaching staff to carry the responsibility of playing against a lot of the opposing teams strongest players. Having a lot on their shoulders every match is without a doubt tough, but gives them more experience playing and ultimately allows them to get better.
Assuming the weather cooperates, the Golden Eagles and Braves know that they will face stiff tests on Friday. Referring to the matchup, Sciaudone said, “I expect all five points to be highly contested, so one team will have to find a way to get three in the win column.”
On the other hand, Gill said, “Winning and losing is usually always about playing to your strengths and executing, so winning against Guerin will be no different.”
If Guerin Catholic can pull out the win, they will have successfully earned their third consecutive title. A Brebeuf victory would leave them as the only undefeated team in the conference with two matches to play. No matter which team comes away victorious on Friday night, it could be a huge confidence boost for the rest of the season.