Hickman boys tennis team struggles against Helias

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 | 9:14 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The Hickman High School boys tennis team showed it doesn’t give up against Helias on Tuesday at Cosmopolitan Park.

The Kewpies lost 7-2 , but five of the nine matches went to tiebreakers with the Kewpies losing four of them.

Hickman coach Andy Materer said tiebreakers often rely on luck, but luck was not on the Kewpies' side this time.

“I thought we’d be a little bit sharper for the close matches, but Helias is a really good team this year," Materer said. “The match tiebreakers are a team momentum thing.”

The Crusaders won all six singles matches and the first doubles match, but the Kewpies (2-4) fought hard in the final two matches and picked up some much needed confidence and momentum.

Juniors Ben Levin and Kevin Guevarra earned the Kewpies' first victory, winning a tiebreaker in the No. 2 doubles match. Junior Jay Chenault and sophomore Tom Majerus then won the No. 3 doubles match 6-4, 7-5.

Materer said he was proud of the effort the Kewpies showed in doubles matches. Although it was out of reach, he said they played like the meet was still on the line.

“If we hadn’t won the last two doubles matches, we would’ve been really down,” Materer said. "That tells me that my kids don’t give up at all. They could have been really down after losing singles. As a coach, I’m glad they fought all the way. Our effort was 100 percent today, but Helias was the better team today.”

The Kewpies know they must start better. They lost the first sets in all but three of their matches.

“I need to be more ready to play when I first start my match,” said senior Alex Turner, who played No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles Tuesday. “I kind of started out slow, and I didn’t get back into it until the second set and it was a little too late.”

Last week, Rock Bridge beat Helias 9-0. Hickman will host Rock Bridge on Thursday at Cosmopolitan Park, and the Kewpies said that was on their minds.

“We’ve got to come out strong,” said senior John Prost, who played No. 3 singles and No. 1 doubles. “We did well in the second sets. We mentally got in the game and that helped us. We knew they (the Crusaders) were good. I think we played well against them. We just have to push to that next level.”

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