STORM LAKE - Led by five seniors on their six-player varsity squad, the talented Storm Lake boys spanked young Cherokee 8-1 in Lakes Conference tennis action here Monday night.
In varsity singles matches, Anderson beat Struck 10-1 at #1, Khamsouk defeated Enderlin 10-5 at #2, Cole Anderson beat Brett Walker 10-0 at #3, Desmond Khounlo beat Gabe Conley 10-5 at #4, Nate Botine beat Gus Laursen 10-1 at #5, and Ryan Matasovsky defeated Nathan Fowler 10-0 at #6.
In varsity doubles besides that exciting #1 match for the Braves, Walker and Conley lost 10-1 to Cole Anderson and Khounlo at #2, and Laursen and Fowler fell 10-3 to Botine and Matasovsky at #3.
In JV action, Storm Lake won 4-0. For Cherokee, featuring just three freshmen JV players this day, Alec Schultz lost 8-3 at #1 singles, Alex Maurer lost 8-1 at #2, and Carlos Aguilar fell 8-0 at #3. In JV doubles, Schultz and Maurer fell 8-1 at #1.
"We faced another experienced, senior-laden team, so the scores may not look pretty," said Cherokee coach Dave Zelle. "We continue to see growth and improvement, however, the highlight of the match was that thrilling win at #1 doubles. Despite looking a little sluggish, Alex and Matthew showed great poise and determination in finishing out the match with a classic tiebreak.
"The lead changed four times in the set score that I can remember for sure in a see-saw battle. We pulled ahead again at 9-8, fell behind 10-9, then tied it up to force the tiebreaker. We started the tiebreak up 5-2, and the next thing you know it was 6-6. We then finished out out the next two points to clinch the 8-6 tiebreak win.
"The guys really showed what poise and effort can accomplish even when one is not necessarily playing one's best."
The Braves host Estherville-LC in Cherokee Monday night.