Men’s tennis aims for return to State

Senior Brennan Ashwood emerged victorious in his singles and doubles matches against Dubuque Senior, leading the team to an 8-1 victory.

Senior Brennan Ashwood emerged victorious in his singles and doubles matches against Dubuque Senior, leading the team to an 8-1 victory.

The men’s tennis team got off to a great start on April 5 at the Wahawk Invitational at Waterloo West. Against five teams at the meet, they handily defeated all five.

The first matches took place against Columbus. The Tigers won most of the games against Columbus, tying only one. Their next opponent was Decorah, against whom the team got similar results. Against the remaining three schools, the Tigers finished undefeated. A highlight to the meet was winning all the games against Marshalltown. This was a fast start for a team that lost seven varsity players due to graduation.

The Tigers next meet on April 11 at Ames did not go too well, and the Tigers lost 4-5 in the team results. Individually, the Tigers won three games out of six with senior Brennan Ashwood, junior Andy Mong and sophomore Michael Flanscha picking up wins.

The Tigers turned it around in their next three meets, however, picking up three 8-1 wins against Cedar Rapids Prairie, Dubuque Senior and Dubuque Hempstead.

A setback came in reschedule contest against Linn Mar at home, where the Tigers fell to the Lions 3-6. Junior Andy Mong and sophomore Vineel Mallavarapu both picked up wins in singles, and in doubles, the team of Ashwood and Mallavarapu picked up a win for the Tigers.

Mallavarapu is ranked third in the state for the class of 2016. He said that the team still has a great chance of making it to State.

“In order to make it to State, we need to keep improving and keeping our priorities straight. We have a good chance,” Mallavarapu said. “In the end, I think that our team should be one of the best in the state.”

Inside of the team, there is a great deal of competition as each of the players jockey for position to be in the top six varsity roles, where lower players can challenge higher players to be ranked higher for meets.

Sophomore Michael Flanscha wants to improve his game so he can continue being at his best.

“I would like to improve my serve and my doubles game,” Flanscha said. “In order to do that, I need to work with the coaches and practice a lot more.”

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