Kable Walton, coach of the Trinity Lutheran boys tennis team, says his singles players must continue to play at a high level in the second and third sets and not let up like they did Thursday against Southwestern (Hanover).
The Rebels rebounded from early losses in singles, and swept the doubles matches for a 5-0 win that left the Cougars with their first loss of the season.
Solomon Hall at No. 1 singles, Jonathan Neawedde at No. 2 and Jack Stuckwisch at No. 3 won their first sets, but all three lost their second and third sets.
“They were similar today,” Walton said. “All of my players, in singles, were up in the first set, dropped the second set, and it seems like the third set was also a problem. We’ve got to focus on keeping our level up and staying steady out here on the court. I really liked what I saw from my players. It’s super promising. This is a good team we played.”
Hall lost 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 to Carter Harmon.
Walton said, “(Hall’s) cross-court shot was quite good today, and he was serving well, too. A lot of it is just staying at that high level of play, and doing it for two sets. That’s all I ask.”
Neawedde beat Braden Helton 6-2, then lost 2-6, 0-6.
Walton said, “I think for my freshman at two singles we’ve got to get him in a little bit better condition. He gets a little worn out and really starts to doubt himself, especially against consistent players like he had today.”
Stuckwisch beat Brady Cook 7-5 before losing 4-6, 5-7.
Walton said he did a good job of battling until the end.
“I was worried about Jack in the first set,” he said. “He’s the one that brought his level up rather than down from the beginning of the match.”
Trinity’s No. 1 doubles team of Nathan Voelker and Nathan Finke fell 6-2, 6-0 to Jordan Bentley and Mason Lichlyter, and Will Gausmann and Max Peters lost 6-0, 6-1 to Tanner Jacobs and Braxton Lichlyter.
“At the one spot, it’s just serves and consistency out there. Not missing volleys, and just keeping the ball in play, and in the correct spot,” Walton said. “That is incredibly important in doubles. It is something that comes with experience. I’ve got a sophomore (Finke) and a senior (Voelker). They’ve got a little experience but I think they’ll improve throughout the season.”
The Cougars (3-1) will host Madison Monday. Walton said the Cougars need to work on their serving.
“Over the weekend I think they could do some practicing on their serves,” he said. “I think that’s a good foundational thing that you can improve in one or two days. Some of the other shots are really hard to get tuned in, but a serve you can kind of control that.”