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The host Columbus East boys tennis team fought through a tough, competitive match against Jeffersonville on Friday but came up just short, dropping a 3-2 decision in the Hoosier Hills Conference championship match.
East coach Jim Stone was pleased with the effort by his team despite the loss and hopes the big effort will boost his team’s confidence as it heads toward sectional play.
“Right now you’re just trying to build the players’ self-esteem back up, and hopefully we will keep doing what they have been doing,” Stone said.
“We will try to build on the experience, even though we lost, because it was a pretty positive experience.”
At the No. 1 singles match, East’s Matt Fuehne dropped a 6-1, 6-2 decision to Jeffersonville’s Austin Hunt.
“I missed shots and key points,” Fuehne said. “He is a great player. He did not miss any balls, and he placed his shots well.”
Fuehne also said that he has to improve his ground strokes if he hopes to perform well at the sectional.
“I’ll talk to my coaches and see what I can work on and what I did wrong,” Fuehne said. “There are things I can improve on as I practice next week.”
But while Fuehne couldn’t get past Hunt, East’s No. 2 singles player, Seth Meyers, evened things with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Brock Winchell of Jeffersonville. Then at No. 3 singles, Alex Pegram of Columbus East defeated Connor Buntin of Jeffersonville 6-3, 6-4 for a 2-1 lead.
However, Jefferson took both doubles matches to claim the championship.
At No. 1 doubles, Sam Coward and Jack Reilly of Jeffersonville won a 6-0, 6-1 against Jo Jo Woolwine and Sammy Woolwine.
The most competitive match of the evening came at No. 2 doubles where Alex Galle and Matt Furnish of Columbus East won the first set tiebreaker 7-6 (4), then were defeated in a close second set 6-4 by Chase Kayrouz and Justin Padgett of Jeffersonville.
Ultimately Kayrouz and Padgett took control of the third set to cruise to a 6-1 victory. Columbus East will play again next week when they start sectional play.
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