Jeep tennis to shuffle pieces aroundAugust 17, 2021
By COREY STOLZENBACH
DUBOIS - Northeast Dubois won its season opener Tuesday, 5-0, against county rival Southridge, but that's not to say the Jeeps (1-0) will have the same lineup each time.
They went with sophomore Aiden Buechler in the No. 2 singles and junior Gavin Leinenbach in the No. 3 singles, but Jeeps coach Dwayne Knies both of them can also play doubles. The Jeeps went to junior first cousins Aidan Dodd and Ty Kalb at No. 1 doubles, while senior Nick Hemmerlein and junior Brayden Beck played the No. 2 doubles.
The only thing really set in stone is Aden Thewes returning as the team's No. 1 singles player for his senior season. He's one of three returners for the Jeeps this year, along with Kalb and Hemmerlein.
"Aden is such a good tennis player, he's put so much time into it," Knies said. "And he's improved a lot, and he's just such a leader, too. He works hard and he tries to help other kids out. He's always trying to help them with their game. But it's going to be a big spot for us this year, and we're for some big things from him."
Buechler is the team's lone sophomore, and his No. 2 singles spot was the same one the graduated Ross Mehringer appeared in last year. Knies likes Buechler's overall game, touting his good strokes, and he's hoping Buechler will be hard to beat - regardless of where he is in the lineup.
Knies noted that doubles are important to the Jeeps, and they'll try to trot out some competitive doubles teams in 2021. The lineup could be switched throughout the year, and Northeast Dubois is looking for the right combinations.
"We're hoping (Dodd and Kalb) have some good chemistry," he said. "But with our other guys, Nick Hemmerlein being a senior, (he) played a little bit of doubles last year. So hopefully, he can use some of that experience that he got last year and carry that over to this year - help a young guy like Brayden, who doesn't have any varsity experience, kind of get comfortable and use that to help us."
He also mentioned junior Corbin Hurt, who played junior varsity against the Raiders on Tuesday. Corbin is the brother of the graduated Tanner Hurt, who played No. 1 doubles last year. Knies said Corbin, like Tanner, has been a big part of the program, and it's good to have players who care so much about the sport. Their games are different, but he thinks they both have nice serves.
The Jeeps made it to last year's sectional championship, but fell to Loogootee. Knies noted before Tuesday's match that the Jeeps had a good two weeks of practice, but it was now time to see what they had.
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