The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

May 7, 2013

H.S. tennis: Koch becomes Lewisburg's second district champion in three years

(Continued)

But when Koch found himself down 0-2 in the third set, he didn't have to look far to find the inspiration he needed to mount a comeback.

"I heard my dad (say), and it's something I should always think, 'do I want it?' And man, I wanted it so bad I just had to pull it out," said Koch.

Behind a pair of service breaks Koch bounced back to take a 4-2 lead, but he wouldn't be out of the woods yet as Rodenhizer reeled off wins in the next three games to go up 5-4 and get within four points of a district title.

During the ensuing changeover however, Koch gave himself a little extra psyching up to stay in the match.

"I was talking to myself again, do I want it, and man, I wanted it. I kept telling myself this is probably one of the best matches you've ever played -- the longest -- and go out with a bang," said Koch.

The Green Dragon ended up making a lot of noise when he broke Rodenhizer's serve twice in the final three games for the victory, which came less than a week after the Towanda junior beat Koch in their two teams' District 4 team quarterfinal match, 6-4, 6-2.

"I learned a lot (in the week since the loss). I played my game (Monday). Last week I played (David's) game. And that was the key," said Koch. "Today I said, no matter what, play your game. I just had to wait for my opportunity, and attack it."

In the semifinals, Koch lost his first two games of the tournament, but he still handedly beat third-seeded Caleb Vuocolo of Loyalsock, 6-2, 6-0. In the other semifinal, Rodenhizer defeated Wellsboro's Aaron Dillman, 6-1, 6-0.

"Ben deserved this today. This is what we've been talking about for a couple of weeks now," said Lewisburg coach Matt Barr. "It's his time now and his time to just go and get it. I'm sure he's flying high right now. He's got to be so happy. Just to be back and be able to capture that gold is pretty awesome for him."

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