WALLA WALLA - Wa-Hi's boy's tennis team managed just two singles victories in a 5-2 loss to Moses Lake here Thursday.
Blue Devils Jack Crouter, at No. 3, and Blake Rowley, at No. 4, recorded wins for Wa-Hi. Crouter shut out Mike Mullugeta, 6-0, 6-0, while Rowley downed Ryan Osborne in straight sets, 6-2, 7-5.
"Just look at the doubles scores and see where the Chiefs outbattled us today," Blue Devils coach Ted Cummings said. "We anticipated winning two of the four singles matches, and the doubles matches looked to be a virtual toss up based on our respective lineups. When push came to shove... we got knocked down. We're scratching our heads wondering if it's a matter of conditioning, tactics, the singles/doubles lineup or just the will to win, but I'm sure the guys will respond in practice with a greater focus on improving all facets of their games.
"In many matches, the Blue Devils jumped out to quick leads but could not continue that momentum into the later parts of the sets and matches," Cummings said. "Jack Crouter and Blake Rowley came out swinging in No. 3 and No. 4 singles, but only after the team had fallen behind zero matches to three. Our younger players will soon get accustomed to the feelings of pressure as the season continues. You can't quite duplicate that sensation in practice sessions, so it's experience in match play that builds confidence."
The loss leaves Wa-Hi's record at 3-2 as the Blue Devils travels to the 16-team Tri-City Invitational today and Saturday in Kennewick.
SINGLES - Conner Lange (ML) def. Cameron Davis (WW) 6-0, 6-4; Conner Koreis (ML) def. Kevin Leier (WW) 6-4, 6-3; Jack Crouter (WW) def. Mike Mullugeta (ML) 6-0, 6-0; Blake Rowley (WW) def. Ryan Osborne (ML) 6-2, 7-5.
DOUBLES - Dominico-Cacchiotti (ML) def. Brendan McKinney-Drew Swenson (WW) 6-7, 6-1, 6-2; Josh Black-Tyler Knapp (ML) def. John Meliah-James Tupper-Bridges (WW) 6-4, 7-5; Nat Mengist-Justin Nunez (ML) def. Dan Wilson-Madison Filan (WW) 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.
Team score - Moses Lake 5, Wa-Hi 2