SL-O boys edge Tigers at home
The Spirit Lake-Okoboji boys tennis teamed earned a narrow win over visiting Spencer on Thursday, edging the Tigers 5-4.
"Going into this meet, I anticipated it to be very close and competitive - it was that and then some," SL-O coach Dan Taylor said. "Spencer had to move everyone in their lineup up one spot due to illness, which is always a big challenge for any team that has to do that. But they really, under the circumstances, came out and competed extremely well."
In singles, SL-O's Jason Thorn defeated Jake Sandvig 10-8; Tully Reed defeated Kade Carpenter 10-8; Ben Wetzeler defeated Cam Chaffin 10-6; and Nick Goodenow defeated Erick Phillips 10-8.
SL-O's top two singles players, Hunter Andreason and Will Fuelberth, fell in their matches. Andreason lost to Spencer's Brady Plueger 10-1, and Fuelberth fell to Joe Sherbon 10-4.
"[Spencer's] top two looked very good," Taylor said. "Hunter wasn't feeling very well, but I definitely take nothing away from Brady -- he played great. Will kept things even in the first half of his singles match, but then his opponent really picked up his game and got a second victory for the Tigers. Things after those first two match results weren't looking great, but the other two matches on court were tight, and when both Jason and Nick pulled out tough wins we were right back in it, tied two matches each. Then, both Ben and Tully played excellent tennis to put us up 4-2 going into doubles."
Needing just one win in doubles to seal the victory, SL-O's No. 3 team of Reed and Goodenow picked up a 11-9 win over Carpenter and Chaffin to end the night.
Andreason and Thorn fell to Plueger and Sherbon 10-5, and Fuelberth and Wetzeler lost to Sandvig and Tom O'Hara 11-10.
"Of course, we only needed one win out of three, but it is never comfortable going into doubles against Spencer," Taylor said. "They are well-coached and year after year have solid doubles teams. Spencer led No. 1 doubles the entire match, so it came down to getting one of the last two matches. Will and Ben played great and got their match to a tiebreaker, but the Spencer team hit some outstanding lobs in that tiebreaker to close out the match, so it came down to the last match. Nick and Tully led most of the match by two or three games, but the Spencer team got stronger as the match went on. They, in fact, took the lead at 9-8 going to 10, so Spencer was just a game away from winning the meet. But Nick and Tully held serve to tie it at 9-9, broke serve at love with some terrific serve returns to go up 10-9, and then held to win the match and the meet. I'm extremely proud of our guys. They really came through in some tight situations, pulling out several matches that could have gone either way."
The SL-O boys returned to action Monday at home against Storm Lake.