For The Tribune
Trinity Lutheran’s tennis team received wins from Andrew Rodriquez at No. 2 singles, Bailey Baker and Matthew Stuckwisch at No. 1 doubles, and Aden Jones and Hunter Morgan at No. 2 doubles to defeat New Washington 3-2 Wednesday afternoon.
It was the Cougars’ first win since the 2013 season, and the first victory for coach Mark Voss, who is in his second season coaching the Cougars boys tennis team.
The match was Trinity’s home-opener, as their match against Oldenburg Academy, scheduled for Aug. 18, was rained out.
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“I’m very proud of everybody across the board,” Voss said. “I hope this is a big confidence booster for the team. I know it is for me, and I hope it is for the team, too.
“It’s been quite a while looking for that win, and we’ve been close a couple times. At 3-2 on the other end. It’s time for us to be on the winning side at 3-2 for once.”
Baker and Stuckwisch scored a 6-2, 6-3 victory against Will Meadors and Jaden Masingo, while Jones and Morgan topped Gavin Schindlen and Jacob Strickler 6-4, 6-3.
“They played outstanding today, both 1 and 2 sets,” Voss said. “We had been playing that hard all year, we just didn’t have the record to show it, and tonight we turned the corner and got the job done when we needed to.”
Voss said he was pleased with the doubles team’s play overall.
“They were scoring pretty much everywhere,” he said. “We had worked on a few things in practice Tuesday night with our lobs, and hitting to the away-from-the-net person, and that kind of came up huge for us tonight.
“We’ve really been trying to focus on that in practice, and it got us a few extra points, enough to get us through, get us the win.”
Rodriquez, who sat out Monday’s match at Bedford because of a leg injury, rallied to defeat Noah Franklin 7-5, 6-1.
Jonathan Keith fell to Caleb Ellison 6-2, 6-1 at No. 1 singles, and Tanner Prewitt lost 6-2, 6-4 to Steve Mack at No. 3 singles.
Voss said he felt like all the singles players battled to the end.
“Everybody fought tough across the board,” he said. “Andrew gutted out his No. 2 singles and won in two sets.
He had to come back in the first set to get it done, and he hung on in the second set. I’m real proud of him.
“Jonathan, at No. 1, played a real match. He had a tough opponent. He got a couple games on (Ellison). Tanner played a very athletic kid and took his match to the limit too. He ended up losing, but he was in his match the whole way through.”
The Cougars are 1-5, and will be idle until Sept. 12 when they travel to Hanover College for their conference tournament.