Mattoon’s Pierce Farmer and Josh Ramage (pictured above) lost only one set in winning the IHSA Class 1A sectional boys tennis tournament at Effingham.
Farmer-Ramage, who entered the sectional ranked No. 3, had beaten teams from Flora and Teutopolis in Friday’s opening rounds. The duo then did not lose a set Saturday in sweeping past two top-ranked Olney teams to earn a berth in next weekend’s IHSA state tournament in Arlington Heights.
“I knew these two seniors had the skills and experience to win it all,” Mattoon coach Joey Boyer said. “They just had to put it all together and they proved it in a big way this weekend.”
Mattoon also finished third among nine schools for team scoring.
FARMER-RAMAGE RESULTS BY ROUND
|Pietz/Collins / Flora||6-1, 6-0|
|Habing/Tabbert / Teutopolis||6-2, 4-6, 6-4|
|Walker/Doll / Olney||6-2, 6-3|
|Taylor/Harris / Olney||6-4, 6-3|
Mattoon’s other doubles team of Nik James and Josiah Donaldson lost to Olney’s Jacob Taylor and Luke Harris in the quarterfinals, 6-2, 6-0. That Olney duo subsequently lost to Farmer-Ramage in the doubles championship, 6-4, 6-3.
“They (James-Donaldson) played hard, but Jacob Taylor from Olney is really good and he just took over the match,” Boyer said. “Josiah is one of my most improved players. He will be a handful next year for whoever he plays. We (later) neutralized Jacob Taylor in the championship by using a variety of different strategies.”
Cramps caused Mattoon’s No. 1 singles player, Tejas Zala, to get ousted in the singles semifinals. The junior led Florida’s Bobby Powless 5-3 in the third set when he suffered painful contractions in his hands and legs. Boyer used an emergency timeout to give Zala fluids. But, Boyer said, “his mobility was gone,” causing Zala to lose four straight games and miss advancing to state, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5.
“It was heartbreaking for our team,” Boyer said, “because Tejas is the heart and soul of our team.”
EFFINGHAM SECTIONAL TEAM RESULTS
Charleston’s Vince DiNaso and Adam Rudibaugh took fourth in the Danville Sectional.
After having rallied to win a match in Friday’s second round, DiNaso-Rudibaugh were swept by Champaign Centennial’s James Braun and Lino Jo in Saturday’s third round, 6-0, 6-0, followed by another two-set loss in the consolation finals to Urbana’s Zachary Donnini and Arav Jagroop, 7-5, 6-0.
DANVILLE SECTIONAL TEAM RESULTS