It wasn't the best conditions to play tennis in, but Pleasant Valley head coach Mark Allison likened Monday's weather to a heat-wave compared to what his boys' team had played in over the past week.
The Bears picked up their first victory of the young season by sweeping Mountain Valley Conference rival East Stroudsburg South 7-0. Pleasant Valley had suffered three consecutive 4-3 losses up until Monday, but finally broke through in a big way. All seven Bears went on to win their respective match in straight sets.
According to Allison, playing conditions in those opening three matches were very unfavorable for the players. Although it was a blustery 44 on Monday, Allison and his players thought it was much better conditions to play in.
"I thought everybody stepped up," said Allison. "We have three new singles players and they have been playing well throughout the start of the season. I think our doubles are meshing well too. We are starting two freshmen at doubles, so there are a lot of new faces out there.
"We lost matches early in which I thought we played well. I think it may have been a lack of experience and lack of playing time together in doubles that hurt us a little bit as far as pulling out those tight matches. But now I think we are starting to mesh and come together as a group."
Vince Voulo, the Bears' No. 1 singles player, led the way with a 6-0, 6-3 victory. The Bears' other two singles players, Joe Osinski and Tom Park, also posted victories. Osinski won 6-3, 6-2, while Park won 6-0, 6-1.
"I have been pleased with (our singles players)," said Allison. "In fact, we may be a little father along than I thought we would be at this stage in the season. They have really come along over the past week."
All four doubles teams were victorious as well. Mike Vargas and Lou Bravo took their respective pro-set in dominating fashion, 8-2. Teammates Justin Kemmerer and Andrew Russo followed suit at the No. 2 doubles with an impressive 6-0, 6-1 win of their own.
"I feel that we performed pretty well today," said Kemmerer, the captain of the team. "We were able to finish off points. In some of the matches this year we have had some trouble finishing off points and keeping our focus. I think we did a much better job of that today.
"I think the conditions today actually helped us play better. Our last three matches have been freezing and windy. Today it's beautiful compared to the other days. The ball didn't corkscrew in the air so it made it easier to hit."
No. 3 doubles John Walmach and Bryan Baumgartner won 6-0, 6-2, while James Osinski and Stevie Berry finished out the day with a 6-2, 6-1 triumph.
Pleasant Valley (1-3) has already played matches against Liberty, East Stroudsburg North and Nazareth. While the Bears lost all three of those matches, Allison believes that it will definitely help his team in the long run.
"I am glad we got to play those matches against Liberty and Nazareth," Allison said. "The non-league matches are good and it gives us a chance to work and develop our new players.
"We probably got a jump on some of the other schools by playing those matches. This is our fourth match. The other schools probably canceled out and may not have rescheduled yet. So I am glad we did because it gets us ready for the rest of the season."
Pleasant Valley 7, ES South 0
Vince Voulo (PV) def. Mike Gallucci, 6-0, 6-3; Joe Osinski (PV) def. Luke Cason, 6-3, 6-2; Tom Park (PV) def. Ty Gable, 6-0, 6-1.
Mike Vargas/Lou Bravo (PV) def. Justin Gomez/Shaun Sanders, 8-2; Justin Kemmerer/Andrew Russo (PV) def. Pete Cason/Kazuki Mollenthiel, 6-0, 6-1; John Walmach/Bryan Baumgartner (PV) def. Paul Dumas/Brandon Briggs, 6-0, 6-2; James Osinski/Stevie Berry (PV) def. Abe Silva/Gareth Karycopoulous, 6-2, 6-1.