Things are going well for the Wallenpaupack Area boys tennis team this season.
Following their win over Honesdale on Monday, the Buckhorns are touting a 7-2 record and much of that has to do with outstanding efforts across the board.
Leading the charge are singles players Reed Evans, Jeff Alderfer and Eric Miller, ranked first, second, and third, respectively.
Evans, a sophomore, has been consistently improving his play yearly and bumped his way into the top spot after spending last season as the number two.
Unlike many of his teammates, tennis is his only sport.
"I've been playing for six years," Evans said after his 7-5, 6-0 win against the Hornets. "I got into the sport thorough my older brother and spend some time in the off-season attending camps and clinics."
Also unlike many of his teammates, he's never spent time playing doubles.
Alderfer, a senior, also had a good day against Honesdale chalking up another win 6-2/6-1.
"I started playing doubles, but have been a singles player since sophomore year, he said."
Like many singles players, he likes not having to rely on another player and feels the competition in singles play is better.
When he's not on the court, Alderfer spends most of his time on the ice as defensemen for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights Junior Hockey team.
Coach Jim Ball lauds number one and two and adds that Miller, also a senior, while absent against Honesdale due to an academic commitment, has been consistent and well-balanced this season delivering wins and contributing in leadership roles.
"I'm really happy with our top three singles players," he said, "we have a lot of freshmen playing and the older players bring a lot to the team. The kids work hard and always seem to step up."
Page 2 of 3 - Ball, now in his 32nd year at the helm, has only had three losing seasons.
"We get a lot of good kids in this program and this year's no different."
He cites the junior high program key to player development.
"At that level we get kids who haven't played much, or sometimes at all, and they can really focus on developing the basic skills.
"When they get to the JV level they already come with that and we can focus on more advanced skills and strategy. It certainly gives us an advantage over schools that don't have such a program."
Contributing in the doubles category is Liam Cunningham. The junior, typically found on the soccer pitch in the fall, is enjoying his first season as a part of the Varsity tennis team.
"I played singles in JV but I like doubles too. It's good to play with someone else," he said.
Paired with Billy Reese, the duo downed their Hornet rivals 6-3., 6-2 further adding to the Buckhorns tally for the day.
All in all it was a good day for Paupack but Coach Ball still remains skeptical about the remainder of the season.
While traditionally tough teams, Scranton Prep and Abington Heights (the Bucks only two losses, so far) are already behind them, there are a still a bunch of unknowns.
"It's a tight schedule in a short amount of time," Ball imparted, "We only face each team once and due to the league realignment we'll be playing some teams that we don't have a history with."
Whatever the immediate future looks like, win or lose, the Buckhorns are poised for long term excellence.
Page 3 of 3 - With a team history of more than 250 wins since the start of the program, and with an experienced and talented group of players, bets are good for another winning season.