On their brand new courts, in their season-opener, the Brownstown Central boys tennis team wouldn’t be denied.
The Braves edged Jennings County 3-2 on Tuesday, also marking the first win for first-year coach Mitchell Taylor.
At No. 1 singles, Ethan Carlin built a 4-1 lead before taking the first set 6-2 against the Panthers’ Weston Miller. Carlin wouldn’t drop another game in the match, claiming the second set 6-0.
“We want him (Carlin) to keep that confidence,” Taylor said. “He has the strokes to play well. Seeing him play like that the first match of the year is really positive. I’m looking forward to seeing what he’s got the rest of the year.”
The Braves’ next win came at No. 3 singles, as Ethan Wischmeier posted a 6-3, 6-3 score against Wyatt St. John.
“Ethan is the type of player who plays well at the No. 3 position,” Taylor said. “We feel like he fits really well in there right now. He hustles and has pretty good lob shots. He extends points, and that’s what need at that position.”
Sealing the team victory for BCHS was the No. 1 doubles duo of Jackson Lahrman and Adam Pottschmidt.
Lahrman and Pottschmidt won the first set 6-0 against Justin Gasper and Briar Davis but fell behind 4-3 in the second. The Braves’ tandem stormed back to win the next three games for the match.
“It was his (Pottschmidt’s) first varsity match, and I thought he played really well,” Taylor said. “They came out to a hot start. I think they got a little tentative in the second set, but they grinded it out. I really like them as a combination, with a lefty and a righty. They’re able to both hit their forehands.”
At No. 2 singles, the Braves’ Gunnar Zickler lost a tight, two-hour match versus the Panthers’ Thomas Schuler 7-6 (4), 7-5.
The other Panthers’ triumph came at No. 2 doubles, as Kent Biehle and Cody St. John topped Kelian East and Reece Carlin 6-1, 6-1.
“I told them afterwards that a win is always better than a loss — no matter how you get it,” Taylor said. “I wish Gunnar could have pulled it off at No. 2 singles tonight, but we’re going to learn from it. I don’t think he played his best, I think it’s yet to come. Hopefully we can build off this and get another win on Thursday.”
Thursday, the Braves (1-0) will play a Mid-Southern Conference match at North Harrison.