Adversity befalls every team in the realm of sport, as the Wellington boys tennis team discovered at the Andover Invitational on April 4.
The Crusaders were without regular, Number One Singles player, Brian Peck, senior, who is also on the varsity golf team that opened their season at home on Thursday. Playing in a seeded tournament also worked against WHS, as the season is so young, there are no win/loss records to get an accurate seeding.
Playing in Number One Singles. Dutch Brownlee, sophomore, was seeded sixth and finished seventh with losses to Wegner of Andover (0-8) then another loss to Wakefield of Andover Central (4-8) before getting a win against Cook of Neodesha (8-8).
The day wasn't much brighter for Number Two Singles player, Anthony Glazer, junior. He was seeded sixth and finished seventh with losses to Kulkarni of Andover (1-8) then to Lloyd of Independent (2-8) before beating McKeller of Neodesha (8-1).
Number One Doubles, sophomore tandem of Tyler Pettegrew and Jon Ryberg were seeded eighth and finished sixth with an initial loss to McCoy and King of Independent (1-8). They won the first round of consolation in a tiebreaker with Andovers' Zuiss/Dilollo 8-7 (7-4) which gave them a chance to play against Leigh and Murray of Andover Central for a 5th place finish but got beat in that match (3-8).
Chaz Crittenden, senior and Ian King were also seeded eighth and finished eighth with three straight losses to Nagireddy/Mueller of Independent (0-8) then Milford/Strunk of Valley Center (4-8) then to Warrington/Farmer of Neodesha (5-8).
In spite of the rough outing on Thursday, Head Coach, Allen Keller is optimistic.
Everyone got some really, really good experience, played many games with points that lasted 12 -15 hits before the point was won," he said. "Unfortunately, the point was usually won by the other player on on Thursday, but it won't always be that way."
The Crusaders have three varsity tournaments next week. Monday April 8 at Wichita Collegiate, Tuesday, April 9 at Maize South, and Friday, April 12 at Chaparral. The coach said that as the season goes on, the team will improve.
"Our opponents were simply more patient, more tournament hardened and savvy than our guys," Keller said. "The more time we spend on the court playing matches like that, the more savvy and tough we'll become."