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April 23, 2013

Photo Gallery, Story: Spring Sports roundup for April 23

NEW CASTLE — The Neshannock High boys tennis tandem of Max Watters and Joe Bullano came up just short yesterday.

Watters and Bullano won two matches before falling in the semifinals and then in the consolation round in the WPIAL Section 2-AA Doubles Tournament at Pearson Park.

Watters and Bullano, seeded fourth, won a first-round match over a team from Beaver Falls, 10-2. The tandem then advanced to the semifinals with a 10-4 decision over a team from Riverside.

But the run came to an end in the semifinals with a 6-1, 6-1 loss to Clint Davies and Jonah Cooper of Blackhawk, the eventual champions.

Watters and Bullano lost in the consolation round against Ellwood City Lincoln’s tandem of Matt Barnes and Beau Ewing, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.

“Watters and Bullano played really well,” Lancers coach Chuck Dess said. “They’ve never really played doubles this year.

“I thought they played really well. I think the experience of playing more matches will get us ready for the playoffs. They fought for every point and every game.”

Neshannock’s other entry, the team of Nick Hautala and Tyler Voland lost in the first round against a team from Riverside, 10-1.

The Wolverines’ team of Barnes and Ewing, who were seeded third, eliminated a team from Central Valley in the opening round, 10-0. They reached the semifinals with a 10-8 verdict over a squad from Blackhawk. But Barnes and Ewing were ousted by Beaver’s Connor Shallcross and Jimmy Cavato, the eventual runner-ups, 6-3, 6-3.

“We had chances against the Ellwood guys, but give them credit,” Dess said. “They came up with big shots at key times. We just couldn’t close it out.

“(Ellwood) is always scrapping and fighting for every point. Every point in doubles play is really intense; it wears on you. By the time it gets to the fourth match, it’s more mental than physical.”

The top three teams advance to the WPIAL Class AA Doubles Championship at 1 p.m. Monday at Keystone Oaks.

Neshannock returns to action at 3:30 p.m. today at Beaver Falls in section action. The Lancers will clinch a team playoff berth with a win. The team playoffs start May 6.

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