Jeeps best Raiders in county showdown

Photos by Jonathan Saxon/The Herald
Northeast Dubois' Aden Thewes fires a serve during Wednesday's match against Southridge. The Jeeps defeated the Raiders 4-1.


HUNTINGBURG — The Northeast Dubois and Southridge boys tennis teams clashed racquets Wednesday afternoon in an intercounty showdown. They were originally scheduled to play on Tuesday, but late afternoon storms forced the teams to push the match back one day. Everyone was excited, but it was clear the Jeeps and Raiders are using these early matches to iron things out.

The No. 1 singles match between Raiders senior Austin Barkley and Jeeps junior Aden Thewes is a prime example of this fact. Both Barkley and Thewes had their moments and few shots they wish they could take back. Barkley played along the baseline for most of the first set, which he went on to win, 6-3. Thewes responded by using his serve and net aggression to battle back and force a tie in the second set. But Barkley eventually regained control and won the tiebreaker, 7-5. Thewes was disappointed to drop his first match, but was happy he and his teammates could play at all.

“It felt good to get back out there,” he said. “I was ready to get back out on the court. We needed it to help everybody shake off the rust.”

Thewes felt like he made a lot of unforced errors, some of which came from trying to force certain shots over the net instead of being more patient. Jeeps coach Dwayne Knies said he could have served better at times, but also saw him hit some good shots at the net. The main issue he noticed was Thewes overthinking some of his shots early instead of just focusing on keeping his shots in play.

“The key to Aden, he doesn’t have to hit great shots. He just needs to hit good shots,” said Knies. “I saw a bit more of that in the second set. I saw him relax and not try to overhit. He was just having good points and hit several good shots.”

The rest of the Jeeps were able to come away victorious on the evening. Senior Ross Mehringer defeated junior Max Rasche (7-6(1), 6-2). Junior Nick Hemmerlein was victorious over Roger Hunter (6-4, 6-0). Seniors Tanner Hurt and Tucker Nuekam defeated seniors Ethan Bell and Konner Thyen (6-3, 6-3) in the No. 1 doubles match. Seniors Logan Lampert and Ty Kalb beat seniors Sam Sermsersheim and Levi Schaeffer (6-1, 6-3) at two doubles.

The Jeeps are next scheduled to play 5:00 p.m. today at Paoli.

Raiders coach Paul Kinker said it was clear there’s a lot of ground to cover for the Raiders, who were playing their second match of the season after opening against Boonville on Monday. He liked the way his singles players started their matches, but wishes the doubles teams could have shown a bit more fight.

Southridge's Austin Barkley returns a volley during Wednesday's match against Northeast Dubois. Barkley picked up the lone win for the Raiders at No. 1 singles.

The Raiders have four matches next week, so there will be plenty of opportunity for everyone to get their reps and sharpen things up. There will also be some challenge matches later this week that could shake up the lineup for the near future. Southridge is next set to play 5:00 p.m. Monday at Paoli.

“We started out very well in singles,” he said. “We were in every match, then we got in our heads a little bit and went downhill. We just couldn’t get over the hump. We’ll have a couple days of challenge matches. There’s about five more guys that are vying for varsity spots.”

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