Ottumwa boys split with North Scott and Bettendorf
April 9, 2012Ottumwa High School
ELDRIDGE — Records can be deceiving. Case in point, the Ottumwa boys tennis team’s 1- 2 early- season dual record.
Hoping to qualify for their first state team tournament in 28 years, the Bulldogs have now faced two teams that made it to the Class 2A “Final Four” last spring. After opening their dual season against third- place finisher West Des Moines Valley on Thursday, Ottumwa lost their second dual to fourth- place finisher Bettendorf Saturday moments after earning their first win.
The Bulldogs bested North Scott in a rainshortened opener match, 5- 1, without No. 1 player C. J. Ray. The senior returned to deliver Ottumwa’s only two wins indoors in the Bulldogs’ 72 loss to Bettendorf.
“You never know how kids are going to react to a long trip,” Ottumwa boys head tennis coach Alan Paris said. “We got a lot of experience with the two matches. Each of the guys really played well.
“Even in the loss to Bettendorf, the guys played some really nice points.”
Several players stepped up in competition with C. J. Ray’s absence against North Scott. The Bulldogs pulled away to clinch their first dual win by winning the last four singles matches, including tiebreaker wins by Seth White and Nick Sedore, while Sam Kramer stepped up to beat Josh Meier in the freshman’s first varsity singles match.
“He showed a little bit of jitters early, but he stepped up and played well,” Paris said of Kramer.
“That experience really will pay off down the road. All those close matches will definitely come in handy.”
Ray rolled to a 6- 0, 6- 1 win against Bettendorf’s top player, Bobbie Slaves, before joining Kramer for an 8- 5 decision in the No. 1 doubles match against Forrest Campbell and Micheal Porubcin. The Bulldogs will finally play their first home dual on Thursday as Ottumwa welcomes in Waukee in another tough early- season test.
“That’ll give just strengthen our team more playing against a team like that,” Paris said. “The better teams we play, the stronger we’ll get.”