Photo by Hunter Tickel
Junior Landen Marks stands on his tiptoes to hit a forehand return. His No. 1 singles match was the final match and tiebreaker in a 3-2 win over Washington on Saturday in Lincoln City at Heritage Hills.
By HUNTER TICKEL
LINCOLN CITY — In a resumed match from Tuesday that was rained out, Forest Park's No. 1 and No. 2 singles held serve on the way to a 3-2 win over Washington on Saturday.
The contest at Heritage Hills came down to the final matchup of the day between Hatchets junior Jayden Meredith and Rangers junior Landen Marks.
"Being the last match, the deciding match is a lot of pressure on one person," Marks said. "No bad shots, you got to end points quick and try to jump ahead of him - get the momentum."
The third set wasn't in doubt as Marks led 4-1 and 5-2, before securing it 6-2.
"It's just kind of nerve-racking sometimes, especially when it's kind of close toward the middle," sophomore No. 2 singles Kristopher Fuhrman said of watching the final match. "But toward the end, he started to pull through and I relaxed."
Marks' precision with shots down the line was on display.
When he wasn't sending half volleys from the baseline, he crept up to the net quietly for overhand slams at waist level, and sometimes outstretched back and forehand hits.
"You got to find the right moment to go up," Marks said. "I try to hit down the sides of the lines and hit him deep balls that he can't hit back very fast, (and) get up to the net as fast as I can. You got to hesitate a little bit once they start their return. You just sneak up there quick and they'll never expect it."
He led 5-4 coming into Saturday in the opening set and managed to get the win by taking the next game, which proved to be crucial as he dropped the second set 6-1.
Fuhrman was up 5-2 coming into the day. He easily triumphed against junior opponent Eli Newberry, 6-2 and 6-3.
"It's different because you don't want to get too cocky if you're ahead or you're behind, you got the mentality that you want to come back," he said of the delay. "The conditions can be any type, so you got to be ready for anything. I just came ready to play. I was ready to win."
Like Marks, he didn't hesitate to make aggressive moves to the net and attempt to serve with solid pace on the first serve. When that didn't work, he placed his serves.
The other winner against the Hatchets was the freshmen combination of Brock Schuler and Elijah Brosmer on the No. 2 doubles team, 6-1, 6-2. Junior Conner Tretter fell to sophomore Elijah Parsons in the No. 3 singles, 6-0, 6-2, while junior Bryson Partenheimer and sophomore Carter Fleck dropped a 6-0, 6-2 loss in the No. 1 doubles to seniors Caleb Armstrong and Jaylyn Rook.
The IHSAA tournament draw will be live-streamed on IHSAA.org
at 7 p.m. on Monday. Forest Park's sectional includes Jasper, Southridge and Pike Central.
The Jasper sectional is set to begin Wednesday, with the finals on Thursday.