Rockbridge County Boys Net Two Losses

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RC SOPHOMORE Matthew Feldman serves while his teammate at No. 1 doubles, freshman Malcolm Kosmas, stands ready at the net during the Wildcats’ home opener against Harrisonburg. (Jonathan Schwab photo)

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WILDCAT SENIOR John Shomo hits a backhand approach shot in his match at No. 2 doubles. He and senior teammate Michael Shires defeated Harrisonburg’s duo 10-3. (Jonathan Schwab photo)

The Rockbridge County High School boys tennis team opened the season with a pair of Valley District losses, falling to Harrisonburg 6-1 last Wednesday at the Lexington Country Club courts before coming up short at Turner Ashby 5-4 on Friday.

Against Harrisonburg on a cold and windy afternoon, the Wildcats won one match against the talented team. At No. 2 doubles, RC seniors Michael Shires and John Shomo teamed up for a 10-3 win.

The teams got in three singles matches before stopping play shortly after the team result was decided.

“It was great to be back out on the courts,” said RC head coach David Miller, who replaced Holden Branham as head coach after Branham left to take a coaching position in Maryland. Miller, who is also the school’s golf coach, was the Wildcats’ boys tennis coach from 1993-2005.

Against TA, Miller said the Wildcats had “a great match.”

RC’s singles winners were Shires with a 10-0 win at No. 2, Shomo with a 10-4 victory at No. 3 and Malcolm Kosmas with a 10-8 triumph at No. 4. Miller said Kosmas, a freshman coming off cross country season, “has so much natural talent and could be really good soon if he works. … His confidence is growing.”

In the No. 1 doubles match, sophomore Matthew Feldman, coming off a 10-0 loss at the top singles spot that was closer than the score indicated, teamed up with Kosmas to battle before losing 10-7 against seniors. Miller said Feldman, playing his first year of varsity tennis, “is a strong baseline player and just needs match experience. Playing number one is a difficult spot, but we will become a better player and gain confidence as the season progresses.

At No. 2 doubles, Shires and Shomo earned a 10-1 win. “Shires and Shomo are playing great in singles and doubles, and both will be hard to beat this season,” said Miller. “You can tell they are seniors.”

The Wildcats, who did not have a season last year because all spring sports were canceled due to COVID-19, have a small team this year with just six players, the minimum number required for a full team. Shires and Shomo are the two returning members from the 2019 team, which went 13-6 and finished third in the Valley District before falling to Waynesboro in the Region 3C quarterfinals. Joe Lilly is a senior but is new to the team, and the Wildcats have two freshmen, Kosmas and Tucker Towle.

The Wildcats were scheduled to play at Broadway yesterday and will continue district action with home matches against Spotswood on Thursday and Waynesboro on Friday. They’ll travel to Harrisonburg for a rematch on Tuesday. All three matches are scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m.

HHS 6, RC 1

SINGLES – Matthew Feldman (RC) lost 10-2; Michael Shires (RC) lost 10-3; No. 3 and 4 did not finish; Joe Lilly (RC) lost 10-0; Tucker Towle (RC) lost 10-0.

DOUBLES – Feldman and Malcolm Kosmas (RC) lost 10-0; John Shomo and Michael Shires (RC) won 10-3; Lilly and Towle (RC) lost 10-0.

TA 5, RC 4

SINGLES – Ben Clatterbuck (TA) d. Feldman (RC) 10-0; Shires (RC) d. Ryan Evans (TA) 10-0; Shomo (RC) d. Micah Davis (TA) 10-4; Kosmas (RC) d. Richard Kello (TA) 10-8; Gavin Ramsey (TA) d. Lilly (RC) 10-0; Levi Waidelich (TA) d. Towle (RC) 10-0.

DOUBLES – Clatterbuck and Evans (TA) d. Feldman and Kosmas (RC); Shires and Shomo (RC) d. Davis and Kello (TA) 10-1; Ramsey and Waidelich (TA) d. Lilly and Towle (RC) 10-0.

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