A slight lineup change made very little difference in a 4-1 Fountain Central win over Crawfordsville in boys’ tennis on Tuesday night.
Normal No. 1 singles player Carson Eberly paired up with CJ Yager at No. 1 doubles to down Zach Fichter and Ziair Morgan (6-3, 6-0), while Cody Linville bumped up to the No. 1 position and earned a hard fought win over Athenian ace Austin Motz (6-1, 7-5).
“Cody’s return of serve might be the most underappreciated part of his game,” longtime Mustangs coach Chris Webb said. “and that really showed up tonight. Motz has a really big first serve and if Cody got his racket on it, it was coming over the net, and even sometimes even an offensive shot to put him in control of his point.”
The No. 2 doubles team of Sawyer Keeling and Brayden Prickett helped preserve the win for Fountain Central as they defeated Crawfordsville’s James Novak and Thomas Bowling (6-0, 6-1). Jacob Keeling also won at No. 2 singles, defeating Thatcher Gambrel (6-3, 6-0).
Crawfordsville freshman James Murphy got the lone win for the Athenians at No. 3 singles (6-3, 7-5) over Brent Myers.
“Our one win tonight was from a freshman,” Crawfordsville coach Craig Brainard said. “So that’s really exciting to see what he’s going to do the rest of the season.”
Overall Brainard was pleased with the performance of the Athenians.
“I was definitely excited with what I saw,” he said. “I think we came out several notches higher in our skill level, so you can tell some of the younger guys have gained confidence and are stepping up.”
Webb was happy to get the season-opening win, but knows there’s plenty of things to clean up as the season progresses.
“There was maybe a lack of consistency and had a couple of spots where I thought maybe we didn’t go after our shots,” he said. “Things that we’ve been doing at practice every day got a little tentative tonight, and all credit to Crawfordsville. They’ve improved a lot since last year.”
Fountain Central hosts McCutcheon on Wednesday, while Crawfordsville travels to McCutcheon on Thursday.