Brownstown Central’s boys tennis captured its first Mid-Southern Conference win of the season as it cruised to a 5-0 victory over Clarksville Tuesday evening at home.
The match was not a real conference test for the Braves, coach Mitchell Taylor said, because two of the wins came by forfeit due to Clarksville’s inability to produce enough players for doubles teams.
“It’s nice to get one, but this isn’t the one we’re looking for,” he said, adding that he wants to see his team compete with the higher level teams in the conference.
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Taylor did say that despite the lack of numbers Clarksville, had they still had some talent to work with, just that they lacked enough experience to compete with a consistent program.
“They couldn’t field a whole team, but they’re trying to build something in Clarksville,” Taylor said. “They had some athletic guys. They just weren’t experienced.”
At No. 1 singles, Ethan Carlin soundly defeated his opponent, Malik Jackson, 6-1, 6-0.
Carlin routinely kept Jackson running across the court and relied heavily on his strong serve throughout much of the match.
Despite the score, Taylor said Jackson was blocking a lot of the shots that Carlin was making, giving him more experience in that type of match.
Taylor said Carlin faced a similar opponent against Edinburgh but performed much better against Jackson.
“This time, he just trusted his strokes, and he played his own tennis,” he said. “He played really well, and I really liked the way he played. He only lost one game.”
Gunnar Zickler defeated Kohe Quarles 6-1, 6-0 at No. 2 singles, and Ethan Wischmeier defeated Caimen Reid 6-0, 6-0 at No. 3 singles for the Braves.
Taylor said it was unfortunate his doubles teams did not get to play but that he was confident in their ability to practice and improve.
He said his No. 1 doubles team has a lot of strengths, while his No. 2 doubles has room to learn.
“I like where my No. 1 doubles is at mentally,” Taylor said. “They like playing with each other, and their games complement one another really well.”
Taylor said the No. 2 doubles team is trying to get as much experience as they can whether it’s by playing matches or simply practicing.
“My No. 2 doubles needs as much experience as they can get, but it’s a learning year for them, and they understand that,” he said. “Whether it’s practice or a real match, No. 2 doubles’ goal is always to go out there, compete and improve on a daily basis.”
The Braves (4-4, 1-3 MSC) will face Seymour on Friday, and Taylor said he wants the team to focus on the ability to take control of matches.
“The thing with these guys right now is mentally taking their game to their opponent,” he said. “Most of the season, they have been playing the way their opponents want them to play, and I want them to force their opponent to play at their pace and play at their way of playing tennis.”
A win at Seymour, which also is a sectional foe, would provide the team with a signature win, Taylor added.
“That’s a win we could look back on and be proud of,” he said.