The Ankeny boys’ tennis team will take a 1-1 record into Thursday’s dual meet at Dowling Catholic.
The Hawks opened their season on Tuesday by splitting a pair of matches at Ottumwa. They dropped a 9-2 decision to Valley before posting a 10-1 victory over the host Bulldogs.
“Coach Feve and I saw our team really come together and grow in this dual meet,” Ankeny coach Steve Smith said afterwards. “We absolutely love seeing continual growth day after day.”
Ankeny showed some perseverance in the win over Ottumwa. Cade Davis battled through leg cramps to post a 6-3, 4-6, 10-6 victory over Caleb Vasconez in the No. 1 singles match.
“It got so bad in the super-tiebreaker that (Davis) sought treatment and could barely stand up straight on the final point,” Smith said. “But he fought through it and won.”
The Ankeny coaches then determined that it wasn’t worth the long-term injury risk to play Davis in doubles. But because all of the other doubles matches had already started, Smith was forced to promote junior varsity player London Schuchart all the way up to No. 1 doubles.
Schuchart, a freshman, teamed up with Luke Parkinson for a 6-7, 6-4, 10-7 win over Vasconez and Henry Bishop.
“Luke played super aggressive, dominating the points frequently. And London stepped up and battled with much more experienced players,” Smith said. “I have never seen anything like that in all my days around this sport. Luke raised his game to a new level, and London had incredible composure given the magnitude of the moment with both teams cheering every point in the third-set tiebreaker.”
Ankeny also played well in the loss to Valley, the No. 7 team in Class 2A. The Hawks came within three points of splitting the singles matches against a team that defeated them, 11-0, a year ago.
“It was a day of many firsts,” Smith said. “Ian Ferree won two No. 5 singles matches, both in straight sets, and three out of four in his first two varsity meets. We had six different players win their first varsity singles matches of their careers in the dual meet, and Mason Bush won his first varsity doubles match of his career.”
Here are the match-by-match results:
Valley 9, Ankeny 2
Singles–Sura beat Davis, 6-1, 6-1; Jensen beat Parkinson, 6-1, 6-2; Denker beat McCann, 6-1, 6-2; Miller beat C. Bush, 4-6, 6-3, 10-7; Ferree (A) beat Chander, 6-3, 6-2; Lee (A) beat Liu, 6-4, 6-3.
Doubles–Sura-Jensen beat Davis-Parkinson, 6-1, 6-2; Elsmore-N. Songer beat McCann-C. Bush, 6-2, 6-2; Axne-Johnson beat Lee-Schon, 6-2, 6-0; Denker-Miller beat Ferree-M. Bush, 6-2, 6-0; G. Songer-Brown beat Fine-Dunwoody, 6-0, 6-0.
Ankeny 10, Ottumwa 1
Singles–Davis beat Vasconez, 6-3, 4-6, 10-6; Parkinson beat Bishop, 6-4, 6-2; McCann beat McElroy, 6-1, 6-2; C. Bush beat Dains, 6-1, 6-1; Ferree beat Halvorson, 6-2, 6-0; Schon beat Johnson, 6-4, 3-6, 13-11.
Doubles–Parkinson-Schuchart beat Vasconez-Bishop, 6-7, 6-4, 10-7; McCann-C. Bush beat Dains-Halvorson, 6-4, 6-0; Schon-Lee beat McElroy-Johnson, 6-1, 6-1; Ferree-M. Bush beat Silva-Keck, 6-0, 7-5; Leonard-Young (O) beat Fine-Dunwoody, 6-4, 6-2.