BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
KEOKUK – The Fort Madison boys tennis team moved to 1-1 on the season with a close 5-4 win over Keokuk on the road Monday night.
Two freshman brothers, Jason and Vasin Thurman, accounted for two of the Hounds’ three singles wins on the night.
“The Thurman brothers have done a nice job of gaining confidence in just their first year,” Head Coach Dean Hogan said after the match. “That’s really good to see.”
Jason Thurman was the highest seed to get a win on the cold evening in Keokuk shutting out freshman Callum Tackes 6-0, 6-0 at No. 3.
The Hounds lost at No. 4 singles when Blake Feuerhammer fell 4-6, 4-6 to freshman Kaiden Stoneking, while Vasin Thurman got a 6-2, 6-4 win over the Chiefs’ senior Nick Payne.
FMHS was able to split the singles matches when Gage Hind came from down a set 4-6, to beat Keokuk’s Jared Evans 6-1 in the second set and then take the tiebreaker 10-8.
At No. 1 singles, Sam Avery fell to Gavin Haner 1-6, 6-4, (8-10 tiebreaker) and Austin Krueger lost to freshman Abbott Haner 7-5, 4-6 (4-10 tiebreaker).
Avery and Krueger rolled to an easy No. 1 doubles win over Abbott Haner and Stoneking 6-3, 6-0. The Thurman boys dropped their doubles action to Gavin Haner and Tackes 6-1, 6-2. But Feuerhammer and Hind returned the favor in their doubles match with Payne and Evans 6-2, 6-1 to give the Hounds squad the win.
“Day-to-day all these boys are gaining confidence,” Hogan said. “They all played very well tonight. Our top seeds both went into tiebreakers and we just fell short there but it was good experience for them and they’re all getting better as we practice and play in these really cold conditions.”
In junior varsity action, Bryce Workman downed Tucker Hannan 6-0, 6-4.
The Hounds take on Burlington at home on Thursday.