The Cherokee Braves tennis team split two recent Lakes Conference matches, upsetting traditional conference power Spencer on their home courts 5-4 in a highly competitive battle, and falling 7-2 to Le Mars in Cherokee Monday night.
In varsity singles for Cherokee, Brett Walker lost 1-6, 2-6 to Michael Gabhart at #1; Matt Enderllin beat Jordan Pleuger 6-4, 6-3 at #2; Connor Ogren beat Collin Edwards 6-4, 0-6, 1-0 (7 tiebreaker) at #3; Alec Schultz beat Bryan Lovan 4-6, 7-6 (6 tiebreaker), 1-0 (5 tiebreaker) at #4; Alexx Maurer lost 1-6, 3-6 to Luke Kaldahl at #5; and Andrea Pavanello beat Troy Geyer 6-4, 6-7 (5 tiebreaker), 1-0 (5 tiebreaker) at #6.
In doubles for Cherokee, Walker and Enderlin lost 2-6, 3-6 to Gabhart and Pleuger at #1, Ogren and Schultz beat Lovan and Kaldahl 6-3, 6-1 at #2, and Maurer and Pavanello lost 0-6, 0-6 to Edwards and Geyer at #3.
"We made huge strides in emotional maturity and match composure today," said an ebullient Cheroke coach Dave Zelle. "In a very close meet, we faced two tiebreakers and all three 10-point match tiebreakers. Fantastic jobs by Connor, Alec, and Andrea in those matches.
"Our patience, composure, shot selection, and general match awareness made some great advancements. I've been saying for the past two weeks how much our play has been improving, but some players were having trouble believing in themselves because they weren't seeing the results in the win column.
The Tigers won the abbreviated JV match 3-1 due to Cherokee's lack of numbers.
In JV singles, Nate Fowler won 6-3 at #1, and Nick Bennigsdorf lost 0-6 at #2. Fowler and Bennigsdorf lost 0-6 and #1 doubles, and 2-6 at # 2 doubles.
In the loss to Le Mars, the Braves couldn't tap their magic and potential they had shown at Spencer.
In varsity singles, Walker lost 1-6, 4-6 to Kolin Brooks at #1; Enderlin beat Ryan DeVos 6-4, 6-1 at #2; Ogren beat Ryan Havey 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (6 tiebreaker) at #3; Schultz lost 3-6, 1-6 to Evan Richards at #4; Maurer lost 1-6, 4-6 to Matt Ellefson at #5; and Pavanello lost 0-6, 2-6 to Ben Meis at #6.
In doubles, Walker and Enderlin lost 7-10 to DeVos and Havey at #1, Ogren and Schultz lost 5-10 to Brooks and Meis at #2, and Maurer and Pavanello lost 2-10 to Richards and Ellefson at #3.
"We had a bit of an emotional letdown after our strong showing at Spencer," admitted coach Zelle. "Matt looked sharp at #2, and Connor did a great job of maintaining his composure to pull off a win after dropping his first set. Other than that, we were a bit tight and emotionally flat."
Le Mars swept the abbreviated JV match 7-0.
In singles, Fowler lost 2-8 at #1, Nathan Dodd lost 1-8 at #2, Trent Larsen lost 2-8 at #3, Nick Bennigsdorf lost 0-8 at #4, and Nate Laursen lost 0-8 at #5.
In JV doubles, Fowler and Dodd lost 5-8 ar #1, and Larsen and Bennigsdorf lost 1-8 at #2.