Ron Miller’s coaching debut with the Ankeny boys’ tennis team was a rousing success.
The Hawks opened their season on Thursday with an 8-3 victory at Norwalk in a non-conference meet. They won four of the six singles matches, then captured four of the five doubles matches to seal the win.
“It was a great win to start off the season, and it was because of the depth of our team,” said Miller, who replaced his longtime friend, Steve Smith, as Ankeny’s coach in the offseason. “In each of the five tiebreakers we played, we came out very aggressive and won four of them.”
Norwalk got victories from Carter LaVelle at No. 1 singles and Hayden Steele at the No. 2 spot. Those two players then teamed up to win the No. 1 doubles match.
But Ankeny swept the other eight matches.
“We are not great at any one position, but we have 10 kids competing for the six singles spots and a JV player or two that will play varsity doubles during the year,” Miller said. “I am most impressed with the character of my varsity team. I never have to ask a single one of them for more effort. They show up every day ready to tackle any challange put in front of them and are more than willing to listen to coaches’ input on improving any part of their game.”
Owen Somers won a pair of three-set matches for the Hawks. He outlasted Norwalk’s Casey Greenlee at No. 3 singles, then teamed up with Colin Riggs to defeat Greenlee and Cameron Nguyen at No. 2 doubles.
Here are the match-by-match results:
Ankeny 8, Norwalk 3
Singles: LaVelle (N) beat Ferree, 3-6, 6-1, 10-6; Steele (N) beat Parkinson, 6-1, 6-3; O. Somers beat Greenlee, 6-3, 4-6, 10-6; Riggs beat Nguyen, 6-0, 6-1; Lyons beat A. Bush, 6-4, 7-6 (6); M. Bush beat Mills, 7-5, 6-0.
Doubles: LaVelle-Steele (N) beat Ferree-Parkinson, 6-4, 6-0; O. Somers-Riggs beat Greenlee-Nguyen, 4-6, 7-5, 10-2; M. Bush-K. Somers beat A. Bush-Mills, 4-6, 7-5, 10-4; Lyons-Bovee beat Lantz-Goshon, 6-2, 5-7, 10-7; Brown-Christensen beat Basinger-Younadam, 6-4, 7-6.