It was probably not the match-up either team wanted to open the season, but the Batesville Bulldogs and Greensburg Pirates made the most of it.
Two of the best tennis teams in the Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference battled to the very end Monday evening at Greensburg High School.
The visiting Bulldogs escaped with a thrilling 3-2 victory over the Pirates.
Nick Kirschner and Henry Luchow needed three sets to knock off Greensburg’s Tom Lawrence and Kyle Colson to clinch the third and winning point for the Bulldogs.
Kirschner and Luchow lost the first set 2-6 and needed a tie-breaker in the second. In the third set, the two evenly matched teams battled to the end with the Bulldogs coming out on top 7-5.
Earlier victories for the Bulldogs came at No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles.
Blake Walsman defeated David Lawrence in straight sets at No. 3. Walsman won the first set 6-0 and followed up with a 6-2 decision in the second.
Batesville’s No. 2 doubles team of Jacob Paul and Matt Taylor defeated Kevin Beaver and Keegan McCullough 6-3 and 6-2.
Greensburg Collin Rigney was a 6-0 and 6-0 winner over Chris Hoseus at No. 1 singles, while Riley Burkert beat Dustin Nobbe 6-3 and 6-1.
The Bulldogs triumphed 5-0 in junior varsity competition.
Brett Westerfeld, Beau Brown, Spencer Rose and Paul Ritter all won singles matches, while Harsh Patel and Ben Schwettman teamed up for a win at doubles.
Bulldogs win for second time
The Bulldogs followed up a close win against Greensburg with a relatively easy one over Milan.
Coach Mike McKinney’s crew defeated the Indians by a score of 5-0.
Luchow, Kirschner and Walsman were all straight set winners in singles play.
Luchow defeated Logan Alloway 6-1 and 6-1 at No. 1 singles, while Kirschner beat Cooper Wade 6-1 and 6-1 at No. 2. Walsman posted a 6-2 and 6-2 win over Dean Ellrod at No. 3.
Paul and Taylor were 6-1 and 6-4 victors over Travis Butte and Jon Bixler at No. 2 doubles.
The closest match of the evening came at No. 1 doubles. Nobbe and Hoseus were stretched to three sets by Sam Rehn and Luke Rehn. The Batesville duo needed a third set tie breaker (10-8) to secure the victory.
Westerfeld and Brown led the junior varsity squad with victories in singles play. The doubles teams of Rose/Patel and Ritter/Jonathan Kunkel were also victorious.