Brownstown Central boys tennis coach Mitchell Taylor said he was pleased with the way his team responded after starting below the level he felt they were capable of playing during Friday evening’s match against Salem.
Taylor spoke to several from the team in between sets to set the perspective and give a word of encouragement to stay in the game and give more effort.
“I told them not to worry about things that are going on outside the fence and only worry about what’s going on in your match,” Taylor said. “They responded to that really well.”
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That strategy paid off as the Braves defeated the Lions 4-1 loss for a Mid-Southern Conference win.
The only loss for the Braves (6-5, 3-3 MSC) was at No. 1 singles, with Ethan Carlin dropping a hard-fought match to Landon Suvak 6-2, 7-6-(7-5), 6-4.
At No. 2 singles Ethan Wischmeier eased past Salem’s Mason Dillon with a 6-1, 6-2 win.
Adam Pottschmidt followed that with a 6-0, 6-0 sweep of Josiah Gahimer at No. 3 singles.
The Braves were able to beat the Lions at doubles with wins from No. 1 Gunner Zickler and Jackson Lahman and No. 2 Reece Carlin and Cole Shasteen.
Zickler and Lahrman dropped the first set 6-2 but bounced back on a 7-6 (7-5) win in the second set. The team then won the third set 6-4 to win the match.
Carlin and Shasteen won the first set 6-4 but dropped the second set 7-6 (7-3) before responding with a 6-4 win in the third set.
Taylor said beating Salem was quite a lift for the Braves’ season and that he thought it gave the team a bit of a signature win.
“This is probably the most satisfying win we’ve had so far,” he said, adding that Salem gave the team even competition. “Our guys responded to adversity and they beat good players.”
Taylor said the team has faced even talent this season, but the Braves have found themselves on the losing end of those battles.
This time, they came out on top, and Taylor said he thinks his team is improving.
“Tonight we came out on top, and it’s a huge step in the right direction for us,” he said. “I just love seeing these guys develop and improve. It’s awesome to see and they’re starting to realize how to play the way I want them to and how to play successful tennis and I thought tonight was great.”
Taylor said one thing that may have improved the team is a little switching of the roster.
Zickler was moved from two singles to join Lahrman at number one doubles. The pair have are familiar with each other’s game as they both played No. 2 doubles last year.
Wischmeier also was shifted to No. 2 singles.
“I really like where they’re at with a lineup like this,” Taylor said. “There’s still time in the season (for a change), but I really feel like this team fits this lineup better than the one we had before.”
Brownstown Central will travel to Borden on Monday.