Apr. 7—WORTHINGTON — The last time Jake Ahrenstorff and Devin Kaddee played tennis with the Worthington Trojans high school team, they were strictly junior varsity.
But that was two years ago, and on Tuesday the WHS juniors competed in the first varsity match of their careers, earning an 8-6, 6-1 victory over Fairmont Cardinals Carter Quist and Sebastian Castro at No. 2 doubles.
In spite of their relative inexperience, Ahrenstorff and Kaddee were smart. Throughout the first set they were studious, taking the time to learn their opponents tendencies.
"Their serves," said Kaddee. "We kind of adjusted to their serves. Learned when to attack the net and when not to."
Last spring, the Trojan duo had no team to play on. Neither did their teammates. Due to COVID-19, all spring high school sports were cancelled. So on Tuesday, an unusually inexperienced WHS team opened the season almost entirely consisting of players that had never competed on varsity before. In fact, the only Trojan with experience in a varsity match Tuesday was junior Levi Kuhl, who teamed with fellow junior David Sternke for an 8-2, 6-2 win Tuesday over Fairmont's Noah Vetter and Parker Vetter at No. 1 doubles.
As for Ahrenstorff and Kaddee, they entered their first varsity match at the local middle school tennis courts with eyes wide open.
"It's a big step," said Ahrenstorff. "Most of us are fresh legs on the court. But I think we'll get it down. I think we'll have a good season."
The Fairmont-Worthington match started more than an hour late because of rain that fell just as the 4:30 p.m. start time arrived. Fairmont won the event 4-3, taking all four of the singles matches and losing all three of the doubles matches.
At third doubles, the Worthington duo of Tyson Henkels and Quentin Burns prevailed over Weston Loughmiller and Dominic Lund-May 6-0, 6-1.
Like the doubles matches, the singles matches all went the minimum two sets. Fairmont's Amey Komaragiri defeated Worthington's Ben Schrieber 6-3, 6-0 at first singles. The Cardinals' Thomas Klanderud topped Ian Barber 6-2, 6-1 at second singles. Jack Hagen beat Ezra Bennett 6-2, 6-0 at third singles. And at fourth singles Ian Fortune won 6-1, 6-3 over the Trojans' Kevin Le.