Tigers fight off Indians for NWC victory

Fred T. Foard won four singles matches and swept the doubles matches on its way to a Northwestern Conference victory on the court Tuesday.

The Tigers (2-4, 2-4) were led by No. 2 player Tyler Costner, who battled back in his match against Jake Wright. Costner went down early in the match and fell behind a set, 3-6.

Costner battled back though, winning a second set 6-3. He found trouble again in the third set tiebreaker, as he fell behind 5-1. After switching sides, Costner channeled his frustration and rallied back to win the third set and match, 10-7.

“Tyler has never lost a tiebreaker while at Fred T. Foard,” said Tigers coach Taylor McDaniel. “He is 13-0. It’s amazing, but if any match comes down to guts, it means he wins. I have had more talented athletes and better players, but he always maximizes his game by mentally staying with every match, no matter the score.

“Combined with his dedication to fitness and time on the court, he has risen from the No. 14 player to No. 2 in two years. That’s remarkable in my opinion. He’s a real example for those players who are just starting out that wonder where focus and dedication can bring you,” McDaniel said. 

Costner’s victory was followed by three more from No. 3 Andrew Cooper, No. 4 Stephan Gettys and No. 6 Jacob Bechtol. The Indians (0-3, 0-3) were able to pick up victories with their No. 1 player Matt Reitzel and No. 5 player Zach Eddins.

Bechtol fought off Matthew Pearson in a tough three-set match. While many tennis players were finishing matches, Bechtol and Pearson completed their first set. The two battled until Bechtol took the first set.

The tiebreaker between the two was even longer. After losing the second set, Bechtol rebounded and was able to edge out Pearson, 12-10.

“St. Stephens is always an important match for our team, and it seems like both teams play their best tennis when we meet,” McDaniel said. “As with any rivalry match, it’s tough to keep your head together, but that’s what I like about my team. They are mentally able to pull themselves together. That’s sometimes rare to find in a teenager, and I’m blessed to have it in all 10. We expect St. Stephens to bring their best in the match at Fred T. Foard in a few weeks.”

The Tigers carried momentum from their singles matches into their doubles play. The three tandems swept their fellow competitors, as Foard earned its second court victory of the season.