AURORA – The pressure on Marmion's second doubles team of Ricky Angsten and Luke Hoss was stepped up a notch during the championship round Saturday afternoon at West Aurora High School’s Blackhawk Invitational.
The uptick in competition in the second set was not cause by the boys’ opponents from Conant High School on the other side of the net but from the adjoining court. Teammate Dave Demoll had just won the second singles match over the Cougars' Parth Sisodiga, which meant the tournament title would be determined by Angsten and Hoss’ contest.
Although the pair dropped the second set, they rallied to take the third one to win the match and secure first place for Marmion.
The Cadets needed to win three of the five championship matches against Conant to take home first place. Marmion had dropped two of the first three contests, both doubles matches. Freshman John King won the champion round first singles contest.
“We realized when we heard the cheering that it would come down to our match,” Angsten said “So that’s when it got a little bit more nervewracking .”
“We definitely stepped up when it came to net play and we took advantage of our serves,” said Angsten. “We won all our service games. That was a big help.”
A bigger challenge for the Marmon pair was not being regular doubles partners. Angsten and Luke’s big brother, Kevin, are the Cadets' regular second doubles team. Kevin was not able to make the meet, so Luke, a freshman, filled in.
“We have never played before,” Angsten said. “I’ve played with Kevin for three years so this was all new. Fortunately, we pulled it together.”
Demoll, a sophomore, was also filling in for an absent teammate.
“Whenever you don’t have your full force other players have to play up,” Marmion coach John Tsang said. “So Luke Hoss and Dave Demoll did a great job today in playing up.”
“The players continue to improve and it was a great opportunity to compete,” Tsang said about his team’s play in the tournament. “We had some really close points and I was really proud of the way these boys were able to pull out these matches.”