The Storm Lake boys tennis team ended its season Saturday on its home courts with a 5-2 preliminary substate meet loss to Cherokee.
The Braves and Spencer advance to the substate team tournament May 19, while the Tornadoes wound up with records of 5-6 overall and 5-4 in the Lakes Conference.
They placed second in both the Lakes tournament and at districts.
"Our boys fought hard and proved they deserved to be in the top 24 teams out of over 60 1A tennis teams in the state," said SL coach Ron Netten.
At No. 1 singles, Storm Lake's Chandavone Southiphong beat Cherokee's Derek Dunn, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1. Meanwhile, teammate Jesse Munger (No. 4 singles) topped J.J. Nitz in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1.
At No. 2 singles, Cherokee's Cole Egger defeated Matt Bowman, 6-3, 6-3, while at No. 3 singles, Cherokee's Kyle Ruehle worked past Erick Stephas, 6-3, 6-1.
In No. 5 singles play, Cherokee's Brandon Ogren knocked off Jeremy Boese, 6-3, 6-2.
Taylor Anderson dropped a No. 6 singles match to Cherokee's Cole Renken, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4).
The match-clinching fifth win for the Braves came at No. 1 doubles, with Dunn and Nitz taking down Southiphong and Stephas, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
But the entire meet was closer than it looked on paper.
"We were down 4-2 after singles, with a sweep of the doubles needed and we came very close to doing just that," said Netten. "Southiphong and Stephas were in the third set at the same time that No. 2 Bowman/Munger were up 5-3 with the serve in the third set, ready to close theirs. Also, at the same time, the No. 3 doubles team of Boese and Anderson were down a set and fighting back in the second. That's when the No. 1 team couldn't hold their lead, dropping the third set 6-3, thus stopping the meet.
"When the first team wins five matches, the meet is over and all the matches not completed are suspended."