AVON — Early indications through the first couple of weeks of play are that the Brownsburg boys’ tennis team will be a tough out when the postseason rolls around.
The No. 20-ranked Bulldogs dispatched county and conference rival Avon 5-0 Wednesday night.
Brownsburg took three matches in two sets at No. 1 singles, No. 2 singles, and No. 1 doubles fairly quickly, but Avon would not go quietly at No. 2 doubles and No. 3 singles.
Avon seniors Mark Bode and Vitor Hara took the first set 6-3 before Brownsburg’s duo of Todd Clark and Matt Irelan rallied for consecutive 6-3 sets for the Bulldogs.
“It was very gutsy and they made some adjustments that paid off,” Brownsburg coach Karen Starkey said of her No. 2 doubles squad. “They controlled their serves and then took care of the net. We had some matches where we had to battle and that helps as we move to our next match.”
At No. 3 singles, Brownsburg’s Sam Peterson and Avon’s Zach Van Duyn battled almost a full three hours and were the last to finish. Peterson took the first set 6-2, then Van Duyn pulled out a 6-4 win in the second, setting up a baseline to baseline battle. Peterson came out on top with a 6-1 third set.
“Sam let the door open a little bit and then made sure he closed it,” Starkey said. “He went back to his strategy instead of simply blocking the ball back. He went back to putting a little more pace on opening the court up. That takes guts to do.”
While Starkey was pleased with the adjustments Peterson made, first-year Avon coach Robert Mize was impressed with Van Duyn’s play.
“Zach truly played Sam, who’s a very good player,” Mize said. “For Zach to push him to three sets is an accomplishment.”
While Brownsburg is a senior-laden group, Avon is not. That’s a fact Mize focused on afterward.
“We have two seniors playing our No. 2 doubles, otherwise, we’re sophomores and juniors,” he said. “We’re hoping to be playing our best tennis at the end of the season and will work our way through some of the things we need to tweak.”
Brownsburg senior Sam Gentry downed Avon sophomore Ryan Lingle 6-2, 6-1 at No. 1 singles.
“Ryan came up a little bit short and has a little bit to learn,” Mize said. “Gentry has played a Lingle four years in a row now as Tyler, Ryan’s older brother, played Sam three times.”
At No. 2 singles, Jon Class, another Brownsburg senior, defeated Avon junior Alex Meronk 6-2, 6-0.
The senior tandem of Nathan Mehringer and Nick Wilde bested Avon’s junior duo of Nathan Kelsing and Nathan Toney 6-2, 6-1 at No. 1 doubles.