In tennis, the final set scores doesn’t always mimic the improvements on the court.
Despite falling to Jackson County and Seymour Sectional opponents Brownstown Central 5-0, Trinity Lutheran’s boys tennis team played its best tennis of 2016 on Tuesday.
“They are definitely the best team we’ve seen all season, but it’s definitely the best that we’ve played all season,” Trinity coach Danny Frastaci said. “I’m actually really happy with all the matches. Even though the scores looked lopsided in some cases, there were close game that could have gone either way. It was good to see.”
The marquee matchup proved to be at No. 2 singles, where BC’s Ethan Carlin and the Cougars’ Jonathan Keith battled back-and-forth in a three-setter.
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Keith built a 4-3 lead in the opening set before closing the door at 6-3.
In the second set, Carlin held serve while tied to go up 5-4 before breaking Keith to force a third set super tiebreaker.
Leading 5-4, Carlin rattled-off three straight points before earning a 10-6 win.
“Jonathan Keith played a great match today against quality competition,” Frastaci said. “He had an opportunity but couldn’t come through. (Carlin) raised his level and did a good job.”
Braves coach Scott Dittmer said that Carlin, who lost a three-setter to Borden the previous day, dug-in on Tuesday.
“He lost in three yesterday and it had a lot to do with his outlook,” he said. “It was good to see him come out and come back to win the last two sets. It was a big positive.”
At No. 1 singles, Luke Cobb defeated Trinity’s Bailey Baker 6-2, 6-2.
The other singles win for the Braves was at No. 3, as Ethan Wischmeier bested Jace Crockett 6-2, 6-2.
Dittmer likes the improvements he’s seeing with Wischmeier and Crockett.
“Once Luke got that first one, he’s been rolling,” Dittmer said. “Ethan has also been finding ways to win. It has been good to be able to depend on those two guys.”
The senior duo of Sy Zickler and Sam Hoff topped Matt Stuckwisch and Hunter Morgan 6-0 6-0 at No. 1 doubles.
In No. 2 doubles, Gunnar Zickler and Jackson Lahrman beat Pierce McCammon and Aden Jones 6-2, 6-1.
Frastaci said he’s seeing more energy on the court, which is leading to more winning points.
“Footwork has been something we’ve been working on,” he said. “We’re getting in better position. We’re also showing a lot more confidence in our forehands. It makes a huge difference.”
As the season winds-down, Frastaci is pushing the team to finish matches and get that first win.
“I want to see a win,” Frastaci said. “In our last match (at the conference tournament) over the weekend, we should have won. The challenge this week is to finish and close. My goal for the season is to get that win. It’s just a matter of having the focus to finish each point and the match”
The Braves’ busy weeks continues on Thursday when they travel to Pekin before playing in the Scottsburg Invitational on Saturday.
“We play every day until Monday and then we have a week off to prepare for sectional,” Dittmer said. “We’ve earned that time off. We’ve been playing almost every day for two weeks.”
Trinity will play today at Henryville.
Brownstown Central improved to 7-5, and Trinity Lutheran dropped to 0-7.