Mansfield places 4th in tennis sectional
Monday, May 19, 2014 12:00 AM
By Jim Cox
Lane Mansfield follows through after hitting a return during the WBL tennis tournament in this file photo. Mansfield advanced to district competition with a 4th place finish at sectionals on Saturday. (dhi MEDIA file photo)
dhi MEDIA Correspondent
LIMA - Saturday wasn’t a good day for Van Wert’s Lane Mansfield at the Division II sectional tennis tournament. In the semifinals, the hard-hitting sophomore ran up against a nearly-flawless opponent in Ottawa-Glandorf senior Alex Schroeder, losing 6-3, 6-2. In the third-place match, Mansfield battled Celina senior Alex Seibel and severe leg cramps, losing 6-4, 6-3. Because of the weather, Saturday’s matches were moved from UNOH to the Westwood Tennis and Fitness Club.
Mansfield still advances to Wednesday’s BGSU district, along with Schroeder, Seibel, and Pierre-Jean Desprat of Lima Central Catholic. Desprat won the sectional singles championship with a 6-1, 7-6 (2) victory over Schroeder.
Mansfield and Schroeder are a contrast in styles. Mansfield, the third seed, wields a hard serve and a ball-punishing style. Second-seeded Schroeder’s serve is a high-percentage, heavy-spinner that doesn’t win many points. Although he doesn’t hit many clean winners, his unforced errors are few and far between, waiting for the opponent to make the mistake.
In Saturday’s first set, Mansfield and Schroeder traded service holds in the first set until Schroeder broke Mansfield in the fifth game. He did that again in the ninth one to win 6-3. In the second set, the Cougar got his only service break of the match in Game 3 to lead 2-1, but Schroeder swept the next five to win 6-2.
It was the third time this year that Schroeder has beaten Mansfield. During the regular season Schroeder won 6-1, 6-1, but Mansfield made it interesting in the WBL tournament, losing a three-setter 5-7, 7-6 (2), 6-1.
Mansfield’s unforced errors told the story in the sectional. He served well, hitting on 60 percent of his first serves, dealing four aces, and double-faulting only three times. Illustrating Schroeder’s style, the Titan landed 85 percent of his first serves and had neither an ace nor a double fault.
Mansfield’s third place match opponent, Seibel, the fourth seed, has a style somewhere between that of Schroeder and Mansfield. Seibel serves few aces — none in this match — but his offerings win him some points, and he’s a marvelously consistent returner, not giving his opponent many easy points. Seibel played second singles during the regular season and league tournament; thus, he and Mansfield had not previously met.
The first set, won by Seibel 6-4, had many long rallies and deuce games. However, it became clear early that Mansfield’s mobility was inhibited by cramping, and that got worse as the match wore on. Midway through the second set, the match was halted while the coaches massaged his calves, but, still, it looked like he would have to default. Because of the pain, he resorted to going for winners on every shot. Down 3-0, Mansfield’s go-for-broke style quickly tied it at 3-3, but Seibel regained control and took the next three.
Alex Schroeder (OG) over Lane Mansfield (VW) 6-3, 6-2.
Pierre-Jean Desprat (LCC) over Alex Seibel (Cel) 6-2, 6-1.
Jason Barton/Tim Rutter (Sh) over Hagan Kriegel/Aaron Seibel (Cel) 6-2, 6-0.
Isaac Elston/Kris LeJeune (Cel) over Zach Schroeder/Dylan Niese (LCC) 6-3, 6-2.
Desprat over Schroeder 6-1, 7-6 (2).
Barton/Rutter over Elston/LeJeune 7-6 (5), 6-1.
Alex Seibel over Mansfield 6-4, 6-3.
Schroeder/Niese over Aaron Seibel/Kriegel 6-4, 6-4.