Visiting Le Mars clipped the Cherokee Braves 6-3 in Lakes Conference boys tennis action here last week in a hard-fought contest that featured several tight matches that the gritty Bulldogs were able to pull out late.
The Braves won two singles matches and one doubles match to lose to Le Mars for the second time this season, falling 7-2 in brisk winds at Le Mars April 12.
Cherokee's Cole Renken and Alex Struck were the lone singles winners, Renken defeating Mike Ahlers 10-5 at #1, and Struck running his season record to 7-1 at #3 singles with a 10-5 win over Josh Meridith.
Other varsity singles for Cherokee were Nick Parker losing 10-7 to Brian Kehm at #2, Jordan Ogren falling 10-8 to Kent Hasselquist at #4, John Bieber falling 10-8 to Keegan Driggs at #5, and Matt Enderlin losing 10-8 to Curt Durr at #6.
In varsity doubles for Cherokee, Renken and Parker beat Kehm and Meridith 10-3 at #1, Struck and Ogren lost 10-7 to Ahlers and Hasselquist at #2, and Bieber and Enderlin lost 10-8 to Driggs and Durr at #3.
"Anyone who did not make it to the courts on this gorgeous evening missed out on a whole binch of highly competitive, high quality tennis matches," noted Cherokee coach Dave Zelle. "We were in solid contention in all nine matches, but couldn't close out and get enough of them to fall our way.
"Renken played a superb match avenging a 10-5 setback earlier in the season and Struck continued as the Lakes Conference juggernaut at #3 singles with a solid win. Renken and Parker also put another convincing win in the books at #1 doubles. We are on the verge of becoming a really solid team and look forward to the remainder of the season."
Cherokee lost the abbreviated JV match 5-2. In JV singles, Zac Woods won 8-2 at #1, Weston Burkhardt lost 8-2 at #2, Dillon Drefke fell 8-2 at #3, Conner Ogren lost 8-6 at #4, and Gus Laursen lost 8-0 at #5.
In JV doubles, Woods and Burkhardt lost 8-4 at #1, Drefke and Ogren won 9-8 (7-5 tiebreaker) at #2, and Laursen and Burkhardt lost 8-0 at #3.
The Braves play at Storm Lake tonight and host Spirit Lake Park Thursday night.