Boys tennis: Ottumwa knocks off Ankeny

Apr. 8—ANKENY — In just the second meet of the season, the Ottumwa High School boys tennis team made something of a statement on Friday.

The Bulldogs won each of the top five singles' matches, clinching an impressive win over Ankeny. Ottumwa put away an 8-3 victory, winning three of the five doubles matches to clinch one of the program's top victories in recent years.

"I really think the maturity of the talent on our team made the difference," Ottumwa head boys tennis coach Joe Roberts said. "I saw a lot of the skills that we've worked on over the last few years. Those skills came to life."

Ottumwa's experience shined in the top five singles matches. Toby Schmidt opened his season with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Garrett Weicher in the No. 1 singles match while Logan Storto clinched a sweep in the No. 2 singles match, winning a second-set tiebreaker 7-0 to put away a 6-3, 7-6 win over Cale Josten.

Dominick Rath added an impressive win in the No. 3 singles match, putting the Bulldogs on the doorstep of their first dual win over Ankeny. Rath swept Brady Hoefle 6-3 and 6-4, showcasing several improved skills during the match.

Dominick really stood out," Ottumwa tennis coach Mark Hanson said. "He's been a great leader for us and is only going to get better and better. He's really learning the nuances of the game. The sky is the limit for him."

Caleb Ziegler also posted a win over Grady Scholosser 6-2, 6-3 in the No. 4 singles match. Josh Shoemaker's 6-3, 6-2 win in the No. 5 singles match over Michael Black put the dual away.

"It's really neat having the meet wrapped up that early," Hanson said. "There were some pretty good performances. As a group, the guys were really aggressive. They took the opportunities to get to the net a lot. They just owned the net in some of those matches.

"They didn't allow (Ankeny) a chance to get back into it and served well for a windy day. When you play your style and make teams play to game, you're going to have a chance to win."

Storto and Rath earned a 6-1, 6-2 win over Josten and Hoefle in the top doubles match for the Bulldogs. Besides the returning talent, several newcomers contributed to Ottumwa's impressive early-season road win.

"We have some great new talent additions, including our No. 5 doubles team, that are hitting the ground running," Roberts said. "This is a huge boost to our team spirit. We are going to need that momentum forward."

Ottumwa (2-0) will face another tough test on the road on Friday. The Bulldogs travel to Waukee to face the Warriors starting at 4 p.m.

"We've got a tough schedule coming up. We're taking it one meet at a time and hopefully let our play speak for itself," Hanson said. "We practice well. We still have to work on volleys and overheads, but we're making progress."