Storm Lake pulled out a hard-fought victory in their first conference meet Monday, 5-4 over LeMars on the home courts, then lost several close matches to bow 6-3 in Cherokee Tuesday.
Against LeMars, the Tornadoes and Bulldogs traded singles matches, with Erick Stephas, Jeremy Boes and Cory Nelson winning, while Jesse Munger, Taylor Anderson and Will Hansen lost in tight sets. Game five set the tone for Storm Lake, as Nelsen battled to take the final two games after being tied 8-8.
One and two singles players Munger and Stephas then teamed up for a doubles win by claiming the last five games straight, and Nelsen and Hansen contributed a 10-3 victory to seal the team win.
Coach Ron Netten was pleased to see his players dig deep in tough matches. "It's good to see that mental toughness this early in the season," he said.
Against Cherokee, Storm Lake struggled, digging a hole early as Munger lost 10-5 and Stephas 10-8 in singles. Anderson pulled out a tough match 10-8 for his first win on the young season and Jeremy Boese won by an identical score to pull Storm Lake even. Nelsen and Hansen each lost close contests.
It was more of the same in doubles, with Munger and Stephas edged 10-7, and Anderson and Boese 10-8. Nelsen and Hansen won their second doubles match 10-5.
Storm Lake takes their 1-1 conference record on the road Thursday at Spirit Lake.