Wellington’s Brian Peck and Evan Keller started playing doubles one week ago. Now, the duo is regional champion. It took down Clay Holden and Hunter Morris of Collegiate 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.
Keller and Peck came out strong against the kids from Collegiate to take the first set 6-3. Wellington lost some rhythm in the second set, though, as Collegiate rallied.
The two sides were tied at four games apiece, but Collegiate was able to pull away in the final two games for the 6-4 win. In the third and final set, it was all Wellington.
Keller and Peck put the pedal to the floor as it opened up a 5-1 lead and essentially sealed the regional championship. The pair won the final set 6-2.
“Our net play was working really well,” said Keller. “We got our serves in and returned their serves.”
The pair landed the vast majority of its serves until the championship point, where Peck held serve. In the final game, the score was tied at deuce and Wellington won the point for the advantage. Peck then double faulted.
Again the score was deuce and Wellington won the point for the advantage. Peck double faulted again. Finally, on championship point No. 3, he got the serve in and Wellington won the point and championship. Not bad for a pair that has played together for a week.
Keller played singles all year until six matches ago, when Peck was paired up with him.
“We switched it up for fun at league,” said Keller. “The we realized how good we were together, so we thought, why not keep it for regionals too?”
“We play doubles in our free time,” said Peck. “So (the transition) wasn’t too weird.”
On the singles side, it was not only youth on the court, but it was teammates. Travis Osland, a sophomore from Collegiate and Samuel Beren, a freshman took the court for the regional championship.
It was apparent the two were young, as both were very timid to play the net with any kind of aggressiveness.
But, in the end it was Osland that came away with the 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 win.
“It was weird playing Sam,” said Osland. “He’s a great guy, always smiling. I don’t have any kind of hatred towards him, so it was hard to compete against him. But I had to find that fire and win.”
Both players looked exhausted at the end of the three-set, 28-game marathon. Osland said he wanted to get his serves and hits in, a simple gameplan.
“I don’t really like going to the net,” he said. “So we didn’t do that too often today.”
Although Osland was happy with the individual and team win, he was honest with himself about his seed at state.
“The draws aren’t always the best (at state),” he said. “Some of the regionals are harder than others, so I still have to play well.”
Osland had lost just two games going into the final match to Pratt's Mayberry and Beren had lost one game to Pratt's Kahmeyer, a combined game record of 72-3.