The Cherokee Braves nailed down a third-place finish in the rugged Lakes Conference tennis wars this year, closing the season with a resounding 8-1 triumph over Estherville-LC here Monday night.
The Braves swept the six singles matches and claimed two of three doubles matches to easily dispatch the young Midgets, who return all but one player next season.
In singles for the Braves, Cole Renken blistered Brad Olsen 10-0 at #1, Alex Struck hammered Matt Hansen 10-0 at #2, Nick Parker handled Nate Jensen 10-4 at #3, Jordan Ogren beat Josh Keeler 10-3 at #4, John Bieber defeated Cody Jackson 10-1 at #5, and Matthew Enderlin beat Riley Edwards 10-1 at #6.
In doubles, Renken and Parker ran their impressive season mark to 16-2 with a 10-1 demolition of Olsen and Jensen at #1, Struck and Ogren raced past Keeler and jackson 10-1 at #2, and Bieber and Enderlin lost 10-8 to Edwards and Hansen at #3.
Spencer won the Lakes Conference this season, followed by Le Mars, Cherokee, Storm Lake, Spirit Lake-Okoboji, and E-LC.
"Great finish to the regular season in perfect weather," said Cherokee coach Dave Zelle. "We took it to E-LC soundly and even our doubles loss was a see-saw battle. Sweeping the singles, all by convincing margins was a great way to wrap up the season.
"Nick and Cole resoundingly addressed a small blemish on their record (5-4 loss to E-LC in the abbreviated format Lakes Conference Tournament) with a 10-1 victory. Now they have to set their sights on polishing a few rough spots in their game in preparation for State Tournament play on May 28 in Waterloo.
"They sport a sparkling 34-8 three-year career record playing #2 and #1 doubles together. We hope to extend that win streak."