Greg Lubeck and Kurt McCluskey were teammates once in baseball. Of late, the two have been lining up opposite each other on the hard court for Dakota Ridge and Columbine.
“I realized I wanted to stay consistent with him,” Lubeck said. “Put the ball away when I needed to. I played him in the summer and I knew if I could hit against him, I could beat him.”
Lubeck was right as the Dakota Ridge No. 1 bested McCluskey 6-0, 6-1 as part of the Class 5A Jefferson County League dual between the rival programs.
McCluskey and the Rebels, however, got the last laugh as they won the dual 4-3. Columbine is 2-0 in Jeffco duals after defeating Bear Creek 5-2.
Lubeck served with power, attacked the ball and sprayed shots all over the court at Clement Park. He rolled through the first set and didn’t blink until the third game of the second set when two double faults helped McCluskey break his serve.
McCluskey, in his first year as Columbine’s No. 1 singles player, displayed his strategy in that game. He took the first point with a beautiful rip down the line that Lubeck could not catch.
“I was thinking keep it to the outside of the court, stick it to his backhand,” McCluskey said.
Those moments didn’t happen enough as Lubeck put his foot down, cruising to a 5-1 lead in the second set before clinching the match with an ace following three deuces.
“You just got to keep your cool (and) do what you can,” Lubeck said.