Sep. 9—MONTGOMERY — North Daviess and host Barr-Reeve played tennis for more than two hours with three matches going three sets, and for the second straight season, the Cougars prevailed 3-2 in the rivalry match-up. The Vikings have no seniors in their line-up, but their youth pushed ND's veterans at several key positions.
ND Senior Brycen Skinner defeated freshman Kyle Graber 6-3, 6-2 at No. 3 singles; Viking Xavier Meiring, another frosh, bounced sophomore Blake Huff 6-4, 6-1 to equal the team score outcome. The doubles were tight throughout the afternoon. ND's Cam Sassano/Max Toy controlled the opening set, 6-1, but sophomore Brody Swartzentruber and a third freshman, Levi Lester, bounced right back for a 6-2 second set win.
Meanwhile, at No. 1 doubles, B-R junior Ethan Stoll and sophomore Isaac Madison rolled seniors Colin Kemp/Brecklin Byrer 6-2 before the Cougars pushed to a 6-all second set and then survived a thrilling tie-breaker which ended 12-10 to force a decisive third. Sassano and Toy gave up the initial game to begin their third set but managed to pick up enough crucial points to claim the next half-dozen and take the match 6-1 in the third. However, the Vikes' duo of Stoll and Madison re-grouped and claimed a 6-2 third to knot the team score up at 2-2.
The first singles match looked like it would be over early until it wasn't as ND's Jaylen Mullen picked up set one 6-0, but junior Donnie Miller had enough firepower to fight back for a 7-5 second set victory making the top spot a winner-take-all situation. Mullen raced out to a 5-0 lead and secured the set 6-1 for the necessary third team point.
"I was excited to see our 1 doubles compete at a high level against a really good North Daviess team. Donnie also battled hard against the best in our area and Xavier keeps competing. I was disappointed we couldn't get that third point when we had opportunities," said B-R coach Brock Higgins.
The North Daviess squad improved to 11-1 overall while Barr-Reeve dropped to 11-3 with the close loss. The Cougars travel to Gibson Southern on Saturday morning while the Vikings also make a road trip — down to Heritage Hills.