The schedule hasn't been any easier for the Newton boys tennis team this spring, as the Cardinals suffered an 11-0 loss at Grinnell Tuesday.
Newton's highlight for the meet was senior Kyle Portner at No. 5 singles. Portner won his first set 6-3, but then lost a close 4-6 second set and even closer 10-12 tiebreaker to ultimately take a loss.
"This was the best I’ve seen Kyle play all season," Newton coach Seth Banwell said. "He stayed focused and determined every point. The accuracy and power of his ground strokes were awesome."
Grinnell earned a sweep at No. 1 singles, while Spencer Hook and Nate Hinshaw each took two games in losses at No. 2 and No. 4, respectively. Brendan Brown won three games in his loss in No. 6 singles.
In No. 1 doubles, the team of Hook and Sebastian Peters lost a closer 2-6, 4-6 match, while Hinshaw and Ben Van Dalen took four games in their loss at No. 2. Brian Jones and Austin Van Brogen won three games in their first set in No. 5 doubles, but were swept in the second.
Although it was another lopsided loss, the Cardinals' improvement on Tuesday is hard to ignore. Teams like Grinnell that have access to indoor facilities will clearly have a leg up early this season, but Newton still managed one of its better efforts thus far. Weather pending, the Cards will host Oskaloosa on Thursday, when they will try to further improve from Tuesday's progress.
"We’ve lost a lot of quality practice time due to rain and low temperatures," Banwell said. "It’s tough to play consistently when dealing with Mother Nature this spring, or winter, for a lack of better words. Several of the matches were extremely close and our guys continue to win more games each match."