The Mora Mustangs boys tennis team won three matches in 2019, and played hard in postseason play. With younger players gaining varsity experience and older players setting an academic example, the future looks bright for the team.
“Though it wasn’t the season end the boys hoped for, they definitely played hard and took some steps forward for our program,” said head coach Pete Balmer. “And we’re proud that four of our players were named as Academic All-State: seniors Isaac Balmer, Isaac Dubois, Wilson Krueger and Eric Moe.”
The Mustangs’ season ended at the team Section 6 A playoffs on May 15 with a 2-5 loss to Litchfield. Eighth grader Max Sampson won at one-singles: 7-5, 7-5. He was down 0-5 in the first set before winning seven straight games, to take the set and win the match. Balmer and Krueger won at one-doubles in three sets: 6-7, 6-3, 6-2.
In the individual Section meet on May 22 Sampson and senior Nick Madison competed in singles, and seniors Balmer, Dubois, Krueger and Moe competed in doubles. Madison lost his first-round match to Peyton Prahl from Litchfield 3-6, 2-6. Moe and Dubois lost their first-round match to Logan Graphenteen and Alex Gruenke from Litchfield 1-6, 0-6.
Sampson won his first match over Arthur Farhat from New London-Spicer 6-2, 6-0, then lost in the quarterfinals to Alex Draeger from Litchfield 2-6, 2-6.
Balmer and Krueger won their first-round match versus Kyle Reese and Matthew Thompson from Benson 6-2, 6-2, then lost in the next round in a hard-fought match against Tanner Tschumper and Jamie Gothman from Foley, 6-2, 6-7, 1-6.
Coach Balmer said that the 2020 season will bring changes. “We’ll have two new teams in the Section: North Branch and Mound-Westonka. Longtime rival Benson will move to Section 8 A,” he said. “Six of our 10 players are seniors, so our lineup will be totally different. The younger players are bound to step up into varsity roles, and we’re always proud of their good sportsmanship.