Boys Tennis

Mustang tennis edges out Athenians in season opener

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Crawfordsville and Fountain Central got their 2022 boys tennis seasons underway on Tuesday as the Mustangs made the quick trip to Crawfordsville. CHS and the Mustangs both came into the season with a lot of returning experience from a year ago. The two teams put together a very competitive, hard fought match which came down to a three-set match at one doubles. When all was said and done it would be the Mustangs who would come out on top as the duo of Brayden Prickett and Koby Wolf defeated Thomas Bowling and Rowen Gambrel 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 to seal the Mustang win.

“Tonight could have easily been a 4-1 loss for us but our guys gutted out two three set matches,” FC coach Chris Webb said. “As a coach that was a real encouraging sign tonight to see them battle through adversity with Noah at three singles and Brayden and Koby at one doubles. I told the both of them that this match was likely going to come down to them in between sets and that’s ultimately what happened.”

FC also picked up wins at three singles as Noah Armstrong was victorious 1-6, 6-4, 6-2 over Crawfordsville’s Jude Hutchison. Wes Jackson and Lukas Miller earned a 6-1, 6-3 at two doubles over Brendan Warren and Nolan Watt.

The Athenians earned their two wins at one and two singles as James Murphy defeated Skyler Hoagland 7-5, 6-4 and Wyatt Motz earned a 6-4, 6-1 over Gabe McCollum.

Despite the season opneing loss, Athenian coach Craig Brainard was still very proud of the way his team battled in their first match of the season.

“We’d obviously like to be on the other side of things, but I’m not disappointed in their effort at all,” Brainard said. “They all played hard and all had to deal with some adversity tonight. They did a really good job of battling through that and that showed a great improvement in our maturity and experience from last year.”

Both teams can now say they got the experience of getting of playing in a tight, close match right out of the gate. Two three-set matches and some close overall scores, and both coaches walked away from the match knowing that their teams got better because of it.

“We now have the experience of going through this and it tonight will only build our confidence going forward,” Webb said. “Noah can now say he came back and won after losing the first set 1-6. I love playing Crawfordsville in our first match just for that experience of playing a tough non-conference opponent right out of the gate. It’s usually always competitive between us like it was tonight and that’s how you get better is playing tough teams early on.”

Brainard echoed Webb’s comments and noted how this will just pay off for his team, as they have high goals and expectations for the upcoming year.

“I’m really happy that this was our first match,” he said. “I think that this will just pay off in the long run and hopefully lights a fire under our guys to practice and play harder. This was the closest we’ve been to beating FC in my coaching career and tonight was a lot of fun.”

FC is back in action on Wednesday when they will host Frankfort. Crawfordsville will have a day off before traveling to McCutcheon on Thursday.

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