With a full squad back in the lineup, the Maryville boys tennis team suffered its second regular-season loss to the Savannah Savages, 7-2, at the Mark Rosewell Tennis Center April 23.
Things got off to a slow start for the Spoofhounds when the No. 3 doubles pair of senior Brenden Ware and junior Jaden Hayes were the only team to be up in their set, 3-1. The duo found a strategy that has been working for them when they play together on the court, taking the match 8-5.
“Our strategy is we like to hit a lob shot,” Hayes said. “You have to stay patient with it and not many people have patience when you play tennis, so that is what we look forward to out there.”
The No. 1 doubles spot, senior Cade Gustafson and junior Ethan Stone, had an unusual start going down 2-1 early. From there, everything was going in favor of the Savages, as they would only allow Gustafson and Stone to gather one more game before taking the matchup 8-2.
The past couple of weeks, the ‘Hounds have been without both Hayes and Ware sporadically. The two came back April 23 to pair up and win the lone doubles match for Maryville along with Ware winning his singles.
“I’m feeling great,” Hayes said. “Brenden and I hang out all the time, so we have that chemistry that you can’t find very often, and I feel confident when I’m playing with him, and I know he feels confident, so I just feel pretty good.”
Now that the season is past the halfway mark, it is time that the Spoofhounds start looking toward the end of conference play. There is a three-way tie between Maryville, Savannah and St. Pius X. The three teams will have to battle it out the remainder of the season to see who can claim the title at the conclusion of the regular season.
After the conference race is more stable, Maryville will then shift its focus toward district play. Districts will be held at the Mark Rosewell Tennis Center on Northwest’s campus May 11 starting at 9 a.m.
Within the district, Maryville will see teams that they have already faced one or twice in the regular season. The Spoofhounds will see Savannah, St. Joseph-Benton, St. Joseph-Lafayette and St. Joseph-LeBlond.
In past meetings, Maryville has acquired victories over each of the opponents but Savannah, dropping both of its matchups to the Savages. Senior Mason Walk believes that being able to host districts at its home site will help them tremendously in the team race and individual placing.
“We’ll be able to play on some smooth courts, some courts we’ve played on before,” Walk said. “We know what to expect and how to play the game. We know how to win because most of those opponents, we've beaten before.”
Maryville is looking to finish in at least a tie for the conference as its season dwindles. The team will look to get back on track with its win streak as they take on Bishop LeBlond at home April 29.