Jeeps drop close match to conference rivalAugust 29, 2019
By TRAVIS DAVID
DUBOIS — The Northeast Dubois boys’ tennis team experienced deja vu on Wednesday afternoon.
With the No. 2 doubles team the only varsity match-up left on the court, the winner waited in the balance.
Unfortunately for the Jeeps, Blue Chip Conference rival Barr-Reeve secured the match win for the second-straight season.
The Vikings’ tandem of Hagen Knepp and Logan Graber grabbed a three-set win over Logan Lampert and Tucker Neukam, 6-1, 0-6, 6-4 for a 3-2 team victory.
“We knew this would be a tough match as we had a couple tough matches against them last year too,” Northeast Dubois coach Dwayne Knies said. “It came down to the No. 2 doubles last year and in three sets as well...just overall a really competitive match at all five positions.
“Just two good teams going at it.”
In the beginning, it looked as if the second doubles match would be the first players to walk off the court.
The Barr-Reeve duo raced out to a 6-1 win in the first set.
But Lampert and Neukam bounced back in a big way with a 6-0 bagel in the second to force the winner-take all third set.
“They started out slow in the first set, but I was pleased with the way they came out aggressive in the second set,” the Jeeps’ coach said of his No. 2 doubles team. “In the end they just came up a little short.”
Reece Bauer earned the first point of the match for the Jeeps at No. 1 singles.
Trailing 3-2 in the first set, Bauer broke serve to start a string of three straight games won en route to a 6-4 win over Brycen Graber in the first set.
Bauer carried the momentum into the second set for a 6-2 dominating win.
“I was struggling with my groundstrokes early in the match so being able to break serve there was huge for my confidence,” the top Jeeps’ player said of the pivotal stretch in the first set. “Nothing seemed to be going my way and he was doing a good job of keeping a lot of balls in play, but after that I started to get going.”
Bauer broke serve three times in the first set and twice more in the second set.
The second Jeeps’ point came at No. 1 doubles.
Luke Harder and Ethan Ziegler picked up a straight-set win over Aaron Wagler and Tommy Kidwell.
It was anything but easy.
The Jeeps’ duo won the first set 6-2, before locking in with a battle for a win in a tiebreaker , 7-6 (3) to claim the win.
At No. 2 singles, Ross Mehringer fell, 6-3, 6-1 to Kayden Graber, while Tanner Hurt was bounced 6-4, 6-1 to the Vikings’ Nathan Hunt at No. 3 singles.
“Ross and Tanner ran into a couple really solid players,” Knies stated. “Really, all three of their single players are solid players.”
Knies pointed out this type of competitive match will make his team better.
“That’s the idea,” he said. “The more competitive matches like this we can play in, down the road it is only going to make us a better team. Although we came up short tonight, we can still grow from this, get better as players and get better as a team and that is what I am looking forward to.”
Northeast Dubois travels to conference foe Wood Memorial on Thursday.
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