BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – It was just a dual meet, but there was a whole bunch of tennis played Tuesday as the Fort Madison Bloodhounds nipped Fairfield 5-4.
For the first time in a while, the wind wasn’t blowing the ball all over and Fort Madison found itself in a bunch of tiebreaks as the match came down to doubles play to determine the winner.
At No. 1 singles, Dante Seaney found himself in a battle with Fairfield’s Nabin Martin with both sets going to seven games. Seaney won the first set 7-5, but fell in the 2nd set 6-7 with a 3-7 loss in the second set tiebreaker. Seaney then found himself on the wrong end of a long 12-14 set tiebreaker.
Johnny Hernandez got the Hounds on the board at No. 2 singles when he had to go into the tiebreak against the Trojans’ Gannon Courtwright. Hernandez won the first set going away 6-3, but got wrapped up in a 5-7 loss in the second set. Hernandez got up a couple serves in the set tiebreaker and came away with a 10-7 win in the first-to-ten-by-two tiebreaker.
The Hounds had a much easier time at No. 3 singles when Sam Avery dispatched of Elijah Parr 6-2, 6-0. At No. 4 singles, FM’s Austin Krueger suffered a quick setback losing 1-6, 1-6 to Logan Williams. FMHS was able to split the singles competition when Conrad Hellman downed Brandon Winkelman 6-4, 6-3 at No. 5 singles. Tim Shin dropped the No. 6 singles match to Jarod Willmon 4-6, 2-6 to enable the Trojans to split the one-on-ones.
In doubles action, Seaney and Hernandez worked the tandem play at No. 1 doubles to drop Martin and Courtwright with great play in the second set and tie breaker. The two Hounds lost the first set 4-6, but blanked their opponents in the second set 6-0 and went on to win the tiebreaker 10-4.
Fairfield was set on making it an exciting evening when they took the No. 2 doubles match that pitted Avery and Krueger against Williams and Parr. The Fort Madison duo took the first set 7-6, but Fairfield returned the favor and blanked the Hounds 6-0 in the second set and went on to win the set tiebreaker 10-8.
A win at No. 3 doubles put FM over the top when Shin and Hellman had to also go to a set tiebreaker to get the win. The two won the first set 7-5, and lost the second set 6-1 before winning the tiebreaker 10-6.
The Hounds are 4-1 in dual meets on the season and travel to Keokuk on Thursday.
In junior varsity action, Blake Feuerhammer defeated Gabe Dezzeo 7-5. Collin Meierotto lost to Dezzeo 6-1 and Gage Hind lost to Dezzeo 6-1.