Boone usually offers one of the toughest boys tennis teams in the state, and Newton found that out the hard way Thursday.
Competing against their second state-caliber opponent this week, the Cardinals suffered another 11-0 loss at Aurora Heights Park. However, this tough early competition has apparently forced some fast improvement after a shortened practice period.
"Despite the 0-11 loss, the boys really improved from the meet on Tuesday," Newton coach Seth Banwell said. "Half of the matches produced multiple deuce points that could have gone either way. Unfortunately, the majority of those points went the wrong direction. We need to really fight for those key points that can build some momentum our way."
The Toreadors earned sweeps at No. 1 and and No. 4 singles, but junior Brendan Brown got them their toughest test at No. 6. Brown eventually fell victim to a sweep, but took four games in each set. Senior Spencer Hook won three games in his loss, Kyle Portner won two and Ben Van Dalen won one.
"Brendan Brown battled hard against Paul Solomon in a very close match," Banwell said. "He stayed aggressive and got a lot of points by moving his opponent around the court delivering drop shots, lobs and cross-court ground strokes."
Things didn't get much easier for the Cards in doubles action, as Hook/Portner won three games and Alex Cron/Brian Jones each won three games in their defeats at No. 2 and No. 4, respectively. Van Dalen/Peters, Nate Hinshaw/Brown and Tyler McAnally Austen Van Brogan each took two games as the Toreadors completed their sweep.
The Cardinals will continue their season at West Des Moines Valley on Saturday, where they will likely see some more managable teams than what they saw this week. They will then have next week off before a tournament at Marshalltown next Saturday. Between more practice and the beginning of the conference schedule, it might not be very long before meets become a little less one-sided.
"I believe Marshalltown and Boone will be some of our toughest competition this season," Banwell said. "I’m looking forward to competing against some schools in our conference. The guys are gaining new skills at a fast pace and make great strides at every practice. They continue to demonstrate the drive to get better."