BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – The FMHS boys tennis team enjoys playing at home…and doubles seems to be their game of choice.
The Bloodhounds downed Mt. Pleasant 5-4 in boys tennis action Friday night in Fort Madison, but trailed 2-4 going into doubles play and needed to win them all to eek out the win.
Dante Seaney and Johnny Hernandez found themselves in a tough battle at No. 1 doubles with Mount Pleasant’s Nos. 1 and 2 seeds Ben Zihlman and Ethan Weber. The Fort Madison pair dropped the first set 4-6 but came back to win in the 2nd set 7-6 in a 7-3 set tiebreaker, which forced a first-to-10-by two tiebreaker game and the Hounds came out on top 10-7.
At No. 2 doubles the Hounds Sam Avery and Austin Krueger made it a bit easier winning 6-2, 6-1 over the Panthers’ Joey Holtkamp and Elijah Pooster. Avery downed Holtkamp in singles action 6-2, 6-2 at No. 3 and Krueger handled Plooster at No. 4 singles 6-2, 6-1.
At the No. 3 doubles, head coach Dean Hogan slipped Tim Shin into the match, who hadn’t played singles, to team up with Conrad Hellman to face off against the Panthers Corbin Broeker and Jaxon Hoyle. Hoyle also didn’t see singles action. The move paid off for the Hounds as they won the match 6-3, 6-4 to help seal the deal.
In singles Seaney fell to Zihlman 4-6, 6-7 (5-7 tiebreaker) at No. 1, and Hernandez lost to Weber 4-6, 0-6. With Avery and Krueger winning their singles matches, Hellman fell in a tough match 6-7 (5-7 set tiebreaker), 7-5, (7-10 match tiebreaker). Blake Feuerhammer played at No. 6 singles and lost to Nick Sandeen 6-7 (4-7 set tiebreaker), 2-6.
“This was our last dual meet and our seniors had a great showing in the all the matches they played tonight,” Hogan said. “They were really great tennis matches for anyone to watch.”