Blackhawk coach Nathan Lowery said he has been looking forward to this high school tennis season for a few years, and so far, his Cougars have proven why.
Blackhawk entered this week a perfect 11-0 overall and was 10-0 in Class AA Section 2 with matches against Beaver Wednesday and Beaver Falls Friday remaining.
"We have a lot of seniors on this team and most have been with us since they were freshmen," Lowery said. "We've all been looking forward to this season since they started."
The Cougars have five senior starters, led by three-time WPIAL singles qualifier Clint Davies. Davies won the section singles title in 2012 and finished second this season to Beaver Area's Connor Shallcross.
"He is very consistent and has good hands at the net, which makes him a good volleyer," Lowery said. "He usually comes up with the right shot at the right time. He also stays in points long enough for opponents to make mistakes."
Behind Davies is one of the few newcomers to the team, Jonah Cooper. Cooper is a sophomore, but didn't play for the Cougars last season and doesn't actually attend Blackhawk. He is a student at Beaver County Christian School.
But Lowery said Blackhawk went through the proper channels to form a partnership with BCCS, allowing Cooper to play for the Cougars this season.
He is the team's No. 2 singles player, finished third in the Class AA Section 2 tournament and lost a tough 10-7 match at the WPIAL tournament to Valley's Cody Schrecongost, the No. 2 seed.
"It really helps in section matches to know we have such a strong 1-2 at the top," Lowery said.
Davies and Cooper also paired up to win the section doubles championship Tuesday, beating Beaver's Shallcross and Jimmy Cavato.
Joining the duo in the singles starting lineup is another senior, Anthony Parise.
At doubles, the Cougars have two more seniors in Phil Morando and Robert Fitzgerald. Morando teamed with Parise at the section doubles tournament this week.
At No. 2 doubles, the Cougars have junior Tyler Petti and senior Jesse Phlegar.
Regardless of what happens in the Cougars' two matches this week, Blackhawk will play in the WPIAL team tournament in early May.
Last season, Blackhawk lost in the first round to No. 3 seed Bishop Canevin, 3-2. The Cougars should have a better seed this season, but Lowery isn't sure what to expect at the WPIAL tournament in May as the Blackhawk seniors will look to extend their careers.
"It's hard to say how we'll do because we don't play a lot of teams in other sections during the season," Lowery said. "I know Sewickley's section has a really strong 1-2-3, so I'm concerned about those teams. But I don't really know much about the other sections."