BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – In what Fort Madison High School Head tennis Coach Dean Hogan called one of the top three coldest matches he’s ever been part of, the Hounds dropped their first match of the season at Muscatine 3-6 Monday night.
All other local high school events were postponed Monday due to weather.
The Hounds did well at the upper seeds with wins at Nos. 1 and 2 singles and No. 1 doubles, but couldn’t come up with wins at the lower seeds to carry the win.
At No. 1 seed, HTC junior Sam Avery dropped the Muskies’ Trayton Fuegen 6-0, 6-3. Senior Austin Krueger then handled Muscatine’s Drew Wester 6-2, 6-1 at No. 2.
At No. 3 the Muskies’ Samuel Weiskamp knocked off HTC freshman Jason Thurman 6-4, 6-4 and then senior Blake Feuerhammer fell 0-6, 2-6 to Luke Zobel at No. 4.
HTC freshman Vasin Thurman took Ethan Heth into a tie-breaker in the first set but fell 7-6 (7-1), and then forced a seventh game in the second set before falling 7-5 at No. 5 singles.
Sophomore Gage Hind couldn’t get anything going against Muscatine’s No. 6 James Solt falling 6-2, 6-3 to wrap up the singles matches with the Hounds down 2-4.
In doubles action, Avery and Krueger put away Fuegen and Wester 6-4, 6-2. The Thurman brothers won the first set of their doubles match with Weiskamp and Zobel 6-4, then lost 4-6 in the second set forcing a tie-break set which went 6-all, forcing a first-to-seven tiebreaker. The Muskies’ duo won the tiebreaker 7-4 to take the set 7-6 and the match 2-1.
“We played good in a match in very, very cold conditions. But Muscatine had to deal with that as well,” Hogan said. “It was a good experience for the players.”
Feuerhammer and Hind lost the No. 3 doubles match 6-2, 6-2.
In junior varsity play, freshman Bryce Workman lost to Muscatine sophomore Ricardo Pena 5-7, but came back in a second single-set match to down sophomore Hunter Randleman 6-1.
The Hounds are 0-1 on the season and travel to Keokuk in Monday.