SPIRIT LAKE - The talented Cherokee Braves began to get their mojo back on track here Monday night, claiming a hard-fought 5-4 Lakes Conference boys tennis victory over Spirit Lake Park, finishing the marathon match in near darkness.
In varsity singles action for Cherokee, Cole Renken beat Mitch O'Neill 10-1 at #1, Nick Parker beat Wes Berquist 10-4 at #2, and Alex Struck beat Nelson Davis 10-5 at #3.
The Braves then dropped the final three singles matches, with Jordan Ogren losing 10-3 to Brady Harmelink at #4, John Bieber losing 11-10 (8-6 tiebreaker) to Brandon Stoll at $5, and Matt Enderling falling 10-6 to Brett Kraus at #6.
The Cherokee JV team beat the host Indians 6-3.
In JV singles for Cherokee, Zac Woods won 8-4 at #1, Weston Burkhardt won 8-5 at #2, Dillon Drefke won 9-7 at #3, Dan E nderlin won 8-6 at #4, Connor Ogren lost 9-8 (7-2 tiebreaker) at #5, and Gus Laursen lost 8-0 at #6.
In JV doubles, Woods and Burkhardt won 8-6 at #1, Drefke and Enderlin won 8-3 at #2, and Ogren and Laursen lost 8-2 at #3.
"This was one of the longest and most closely contested meets I can remember, and I can't say enough about the effort the guys put forth on the courts to make this truly team win come about," said Cherokee veteran coach Dave Zelle.
"After relatively smooth sailing at #1, #2, and #3 singles, and #1 doubles, the matches became highly competitive marathons. The #2 and #3 doubles were played under shortened format due to the waning daylight but were such close, competitive matches that it was virtually impossible to see the ball in play by the time the matches finished after 8 p.m."
The Braves host Spencer Monday and Le Mars Tuesday.