After showing gradual improvement over the past few meets, the Newton boys tennis team leveled out in its first home meet since April 4 on Thursday.
The Cardinals fell to Little Hawkeye Conference foe Norwalk 10-1, largley mirroring the team’s loss to Pella on Tuesday. Although Newton is playing close matches each week, the little breaks have yet to fall the Cards’ way.
“There were several close matches we could have won,” Newton coach Seth Banwell said. “Tennis is a very mental sport. It’s tough dealing with the pressure of key points that are so important. The guys need to remain focused and play one point at a time, and the results of the matches will take care of themselves.”
Newton’s lone victory came from senior Nate Hinshaw, who scored a straight-sets 6-4, 7-5 victory at No. 4 singles. After taking the first set, Hinshaw and Norwalk’s Jake Gaul went back-and-forth in the second before Hinshaw pulled out the win in the decisive seventh game.
“He did a great job getting to the net and delivered some nice volleys,” Banwell said of Hinshaw.
Sebastian Peters put up a good fight at No. 1 singles, but eventually fell by a margin of 4-6, 2-6. Spencer Hook claimed four games in his loss at No. 2, while Kyle Portner and Brendan Brown each won three at Nos. 5 and 6, respectively.
Doubles were a little bit more one-sided, but Hinshaw again caused the Warriors problems at No. 3. Hinshaw and Brown fell 0-6 in their first set, but stormed back to win the second 6-4 before falling 3-10 in the tiebreaker. Vinnie Hoskins and Brian Jones did almost the exact same thing, with the only difference being a 4-10 loss in the tiebreaker.
“The No. 3 and 4 doubles team made vast improvements between the first and second sets,” Banwell said. “They communicated better on the court and worked as a team to win the second set. Norwalk played really tough to pull out the win in the super tiebreakers.”
Tyler McAnally and Alex Cron took five games in a straight-sets loss at No. 5 doubles, and Norwalk rounded out the night with a sweep and 6-2, 6-0 victories at Nos. 2 and 1, respectivelty.
Banwell expressed excitment over the next few meets, as they appear to be winnable on paper for the Cards. They will stay busy next week, travelling to Saydel on Monday, Pella Christian on Tuesday and returning home to host Knoxville and Oskaloosa on Thursday and Friday.