Owen outlasts Polk in non-conference tennis clash

It took some extra points, with light fading, for Thursday’s boys tennis match at Polk County to be settled.

As darkness settled on the Wolverines’ home court, Owen eked out a 5-4 non-conference win, the match not settled until a tiebreaker at No. 1 doubles.

Owen’s Blake Bradley and Nathan Schlect won that tiebreaker 8-6, nipping Polk’s Banks Barber and Thaddeus Ruff. The loss dropped Polk County to 3-1 on the season.

But the story of the day came during singles play, where Ruff, playing at No. 4 singles, faced Owen’s Wilson Davis. Davis raced to an 8-1 lead and appeared set to claim an easy victory, only to see Ruff battle back and eventually take an 11-9 win.

“Thaddeus Ruff made one of the most amazing comebacks that I’ve seen here at Polk County,” said Polk County head coach Richard Davis.

“Very pleased with our effort today and hope this will help to toughen us up for conference. I really think we grew up a lot today.”

Polk also got singles wins from Jack Smith and Riley Ballentine, with Ballentine teaming with Gabe Alvarado for a key win at No. 3 doubles.

Polk County is set to return to the court on Tuesday, hosting Kings Mountain in a non-conference clash.


1. Blake Bradley (O) d. Banks Barber 10-4; 2. Jack Smith (PC) d. Nathan Schlect 10-5; 3. Rawley Wilson (O) d. Eric Avellaneda 10-5; 4. Thaddeus Ruff (PC) d. Wilson Davis 11-9; 5. Wayah Gore (O) d. Gabe Alvarado 10-0; 6. Riley Ballentine (PC) d. Cole Roy 10-6.


1. Bradley-Schlect (O) d. Barber-Ruff 8-7 (8-6); 2. Wilson-Gore (O) d. Avellaneda-Smith 8-2; 3. Alvarado-Ballentine (PC) d. Roy-Killian Eubank 8-5.