BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – The Fort Madison boys tennis team is off to an impressive 2-0 start after knocking off visiting Muscatine 7-2 Monday night at the Fort Madison High School tennis courts.
Head Coach Dean Hogan said it’s been rare that the Bloodhounds would get a win over Muscatine.
“This was a great team win,” Hogan said. “Sometimes we have a tough time beating Muscatine. It was a good year for us to get a big win. Anytime you can beat Muscatine is great.”
Fort Madison won Nos. 1-4 singles and then swept doubles action.
Sam Avery, who rallied to a win Thursday at No. 1 singles in Mt. Pleasant, had an easier go of things Monday with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Muscatine’s Sam Weiskamp.
Jason Thuman won at No. 2 singles with a 6-1, 6-1 win over the Muskies’ Luke Zoebel.
Vasin Thurman and Reed Fehseke at Nos. 3 and 4 both sailed to easy wins in the first set over James Solt and Ethan Heth, before finding themselves each trailing 4-5 in the second set and then rallying for 7-5 second set wins.
The Hounds’ only losses on the night came at Nos. 5 and 6 singles where Bryce Workman and Levi Sissel both suffered setbacks.
Workman fell 3-6, 1-6 to Ricardo Penna at No. 5 and then Sissel fell 1-6, 3-6 at the bottom side of the singles action.
In doubles action, the Thurman brothers, both sophomores and state tournament qualifiers last year, quickly dispatched the Muskies’ Weiskamp and Zoebel in the No. 1 doubles action.
Avery and Fehseke rolled to a win at No. 2 doubles with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Solt and Heth.
Workman and Sissel needed a first set tie breaker against Penna and Garcia to get the doubles sweep, winning the tie breaker 8-6 after trailing in the set and tie breaker. They won the second set 6-4.
“Sam Avery put together a top notch match with his serve and ground strokes and had good volleys,” Hogan said. “And Vasin and Reed were both down in their second sets and made nice comebacks.”
Fehseke is in his first year of varsity tennis after playing soccer the previous two years.
“He’s a great asset and a coachable young man. We’re happy to have him along and the team members are happy, as well,” Hogan said.
He was also impressed with the No. 3 doubles match where Workman and Sissel had to battle back through a set and tiebreaker deficit to help sweep the doubles.
“This is Workman and Sissel’s first debut with varsity and they’re improving little by little,” he said. “They came up short in the singles and showed good improvement and perseverance in doubles action.”
The Hounds take on Burlington Notre Dame on Thursday again in Fort Madison.