The Mingus Union High School boys tennis team continued to roll Tuesday, April 12, defeating rival Flagstaff High School on its own home court, 7-2.
The victory over the Eagles gives Mingus a perfect 8-0 record in match play this spring, with only three matches to go before state at the end of April.
“This was a big win for us,” Mingus Head Coach Jeff Knight said Tuesday after his team’s victory. “It’s surprising how well we’re doing. We just keep getting better and better. We are playing well right now.”
The “surprising” comment is an understatement by Knight, who lost one of the state’s best players in Alexander Lineberry to graduation last season.
Mingus wasn’t expected to be great this season, but the Marauders might actually be better than last year from top to bottom.
Tuesday’s match revealed a potential problem for the Marauders, however, as No. 1 player Andrew Hickey had to forfeit his singles match against Flagstaff.
Knight admitted Hickey has a slight wrist injury, and the coaching staff decided not to push him as he continues to heal.
“We think he just needs a few days and he’ll be back out there,” Knight said.
As for the No. 2 player, Jonathon Witt managed to get a victory over his opponent,6-3, 6-2, while teammate Austin Strobel won his match, 6-2, 6-1.
Surprising freshman standout Talon Walz was impressive Tuesday as well, defeating his opponent, 6-3, 6-0.
At No. 5, Logan Kitchen had the other loss for Mingus, dropping his singles match, 7-6, 6-4.
Scott King at No. 6 won his match, however, defeating his opponent, 6-2, 7-6 [7-5], to give the Marauders a 4-2 lead.
In doubles play, Hickey did manage to play with Witt as the pair earned a win, 8-3.
Kitchen and Walz paired up to get an 8-6 win, something Knight called “a huge win for them.”
Finally, Strobel and King teamed up to defeat the No. 3 doubles team from Flagstaff, 8-2.
“I think we surprised Flagstaff a little as to how good we played. I don’t think they expected us to beat them,” Knight said.
In continuing the conversation about Hickey’s wrist, Knight did say Canaan Doering would step in and play singles for the Marauders if Hickey was unable to go over the next few matches.
Mingus has three matches remaining on the regular season schedule, the first of which comes Thursday, April 14, against Shadow Mountain High School at home. The first match is scheduled to begin at3:30 p.m.
Mingus will host Bradshaw Mountain High School on Tuesday, April 19, in its last home match of the season. The Marauders will travel south and play Sunnyslope High School on Wednesday, April 20, in their season finale.
The 4A-II conference team state championships are scheduled to begin Monday, April 25.
Mingus will also play singles and doubles individually in the Division III State Championships, which are set to begin Friday, April 29.