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Eastside gets tight victories
Newton tennis squads fall by score of 3-2

COVINGTON - Newton's boys tennis team came back to tie the match at two games each against Eastside before Micah East prevailed at No. 3 singles to give the Eastside boys a 3-2 win in Monday's match at Eastside.

Even though the girls also had a 3-2 score, the Eastside girls had already beaten Newton leading 3-1 heading into the final game for the sweep.

"It was an exciting match. All the guys played really well and they're all improving, which is what I really look for this time of year," Newton boys coach Andrew Clink said. "I hate to lose a close one, but it was a good match all around."

Boys

Eastside 3, Newton 2

With the team scored tied 2-2, East won the first set 6-3, giving the home team an advantage.

However, Newton's No. 3 singles player, Donovan White, fought back to take a 2-1 lead in the second set.

But East proved too consistent, winning the next five games to give Eastside the win with a 6-2 set victory.

"We have to work on consistency," Clink said. "Donovan has some great strokes but he's just not consistent. Hopefully, by the time we get to the region tournament he'll be hitting consistent. He can be a great player."

Eastside's Jake Rienstra won the first set at No. 1 singles 6-1 before Newton's Mark Mote won the next two sets 6-3, 10-3 to give Newton the early team lead.

"Mark promised me he would win those next two sets. He wasn't playing his bet tennis that first set," Clink said.

Eastside took a 2-1 team edge by winning both doubles matches.

The No. 1 doubles team of Luke Gilbert and Varn Cunningham grabbed a 6-4, 7-6 win over Chris Williams and Ricky Moore before Pearson Cunningham and Egan Kelly-Burnett, at No. 2 doubles, gave the Eastside boys a 2-1 team lead beating Casey Williams and Grady Smith 6-1, 6-1.

Newton tied the match at No. 2 singles with a 7-6, 7-5 win of Gavin Gates over Josh Miller before Eastside won at No. 3 singles to win the match.

"The guys playing at first, second and third singles are pretty confident about their game. The can get down and come back; we've won a lot of matches like that," Clink said.

Girls

Eastside 3, Newton 2

No. 1 singles player Holly Springer put the Newton girls in the lead with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Alison Miller.

But Eastside was able to win the next three matchups, No. 1 doubles, No. 2 singles and No. 2 doubles, to win the contest.

The No. 1 doubles team of Nada Sedyame and Ashley Ralston tied the match with a 7-6, 6-4 win over Melissa Briceno and Ashanna Thaker before Maryanne Fearnow, at No. 2 singles, won her match 6-4, 7-5 over Desiree Hines to take the lead.

The team of Nan Bowden and Amanda Leon put the competition out of reach for Eastside with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Mesheckia Lindsay and Kimmie Reid at No. 2 doubles.

Newton won at No. 3 doubles with a 6-4, 6-0 win of Christine Augusta over Destiny McCrorey.

"The matches were pretty close. It's tough to lose that way," Newton girls coach Michael Bryan said. "One thing we haven't done this year, especially doubles, is close the match. If we're up 5-4, we have to get that next game. We've been having a little bit of difficulty doing that.

"But with that being said, I'm impressed with the way the girls doubles have been improving. We still have a lot of people that are playing their first year of varsity tennis on this team. I've been seeing an improvement every week from a lot of the players."

Manny Fils can be reached at manny.fils@newtoncitizen.com.