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To the very end

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Connersville's Justus Parvis offers up a serve against New Castle's Rylan Huntley in No. 1 singles play on Monday evening. Parvis and Huntley were the final varsity players on the courts, as the match came down to their outcome. Parvis wound up winning in three sets, 6-4, 0-6, 7-5.
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Connersville's Sebastian Burch focuses on a return in No. 1 doubles play against New Castle on Monday evening. Burch and the Spartans defeated the visiting Trojans by a 3-2 margin.
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No. 1 doubles player Jacob Brown closes in on a return against New Castle, Monday night on the Connersville High School courts. Brown and partner Sebastian Burch battled through two tough sets, before falling to Spencer Stewart and Garret Rusch 7-6, 6-4.

By GRADY TATE - gtate@newsexaminer.com

Connersville High School tennis coach Chris Bloom is no stranger to witnessing his charges lose a match by the ever-so-dreadful score of 3-2.

Those are the matches that, in many cases, a serve here or a return there could have made the difference.

If only ...

Following two hours of play on Monday night against visiting New Castle, Bloom and his varsity boys found themselves staring at that possibility once more.

With the varsity dual tied 2-2, only the No. 1 singles bout between Spartan Justus Parvis and Rylan Huntley remained to be decided, the outcome of the night hanging on each return, on every serve.

Sighs of relief didn't come easy through the three sets, not even when Parvis was serving with a 5-4 lead in the third, and triple match point on his side.

A sigh at that point would have been wasted anyway, as Huntley not only survived that, but roared back to win the game, tying the set 5-5.

Following that stumble, however, the Connersville senior steadied himself, won the next two games, and the Spartans survived for a 3-2 win.

"We knew that this was going to be a close match coming into it," Bloom said afterward. "We've been on the wrong side of so many 3-2 scores in the past. We're just so excited to come away with the win in this one."

The final in the No. 1 singles tilt was 6-4, 0-6, 7-5, an amazing outcome, considering that Parvis defeated Huntley 6-1, 6-1 last year.

"Rylan played a lot better today, and had a much better game plan than he did last year," Bloom said of the NC senior. "I thought Justus executed his game well at times, but there were times in the match where some of the things he tried didn't work."

The CHS coach added that he was pleased in seeing how his No. 1 tennis player responded down the stretch in the close contest.

"In the end, what I wanted to see from him was that he could keep his head and overcome some of the adversities that come with a match like that," he said. "I think I saw a lot of that today.

"That was really good to see moving forward, because he is a very important key to us getting team wins this year."

Joining Parvis with wins on the day were singles mates Jonah Graham and Gavin Parsley.

"I don't say this lightly, but they do a good job of going out and holding their spots down in these matches," Bloom said. "They're very steady and are competitive.

"They're both doing a great job, which means I don't have to do a lot of coaching during the match with them at the moment. It's good to see that things are coming together for the two of them."

Both Graham and Parsley won in straight sets, the former beating Josh Martin 6-0, 6-3, and the latter posting a 6-1, 6-1 verdict over Andrew Martin.

In doubles play, New Castle earned victory on both courts, turning an 0-2 team deficit on the day, into a tie.

Connersville's No. 1 team of Jacob Brown and Sebastian Burch battled Spencer Stewart and Garret Rusch through two competitive sets, before falling 7-6, 6-4.

On the No. 2 court, Dylan Bennington and Seth Spurlock fell short to Alexander Abrams and Jackson Clapp by a 6-0, 6-2 margin.

"Though I really don't like using this as an excuse, we are very young on the doubles courts," Bloom said. "We have not had much practice time and there are so many skills that we're still learning as we go. We just want our doubles players to be aggressive, we want them to take some chances. We're still working with them on that, because that's not something that is in their nature."

On the positive side, Bloom pointed out that both tandems are getting noticeably better. 

"I am seeing improvement," he said. "Some of the things we are teaching will stick for a little while but eventually, they seem to forget them. We're looking for them to apply those things we're teaching all the time, which I think will create some consistency.

"It's important for them to do that, because we're going to need some points from them. That's going to help a lot in taking some of the pressure off our singles players."

The two teams played four junior varsity matches, with each team claiming two wins.

Victors for the Spartans included singles player Logen Shipley, and the doubles team of Gage Brown and Dustin McCarrell.

Connersville hosts Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference foe Rushville tonight at 5 p.m.



(at Connersville High School)


No. 1 — Justius Parvis (C) defeated Rylan Huntley (NC) 6-4, 0-6, 7-5

No. 2 — Jonah Graham (C) defeated Josh Martin (NC) 6-0, 6-3

No. 3 — Gavin Parsley (C) defeated Andrew Martin (NC) 6-1, 6-1


No. 1 — Jacob Brown and Sebastian Burch (C) lost to Spencer Stewart and Garret Rusch (NC) 7-6, 6-4

No. 2 — Dylan Bennington and Seth Spurlock (C) lost to Alexander Abrams and Jackson Clapp 6-0, 6-2



No. 1 — Rudy Branstetter (C) lost to Kaleb Carter (NC) 8-6

No. 2 — Logen Shipley (C) defeated Jacob Dolce (NC) 8-5


No. 1 — Gage Brown and Dustin McCarrell (C) defeated Aiden Sipes and Andrew Lacey (NC) 8-2

No. 2 — Evan Granger and Kamyron Seiber (C) lost to Bryce Jenkins and Sam Maddy (NC) 8-5