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COLUMBIA CITY — Winning can be contagious but it can also be a curse. With success, breeds complacency for some teams with year after year being just as good as the next.
But for Columbia City boys’ tennis it’s a constant battle the Eagles know they’re fighting to stay atop of the Northeast Hoosier Conference.
“The win was good to have, however, we still have many areas to work on,” Columbia City head coach Doug Stoffel said after a 5-0 win Tuesday night over New Haven. “Our goal is play up to our potential every night and we continue to emphasize individual goals.”
A well-established program for consecutive seasons with 14 wins, Columbia City has found ways to plug players into voids and keep the winning tradition.
“At times we have played up to our potential and other nights not as much,” Stoffel noted. “As a coach we just keep pushing towards our goals and try to make progress on a daily basis.”
That was no more apart than against the Bulldogs where the Eagles had two positions coming into the night undefeated.
Senior Alan Murphy teamed up with J.T. Biggs, as the duo has all season at No. 1 doubles, to extend a perfect record. The Eagles top duo wasted no time pushing their record to 11-0 on the season with a commanding 6-2, 6-0 win over New Haven’s Scott Ferguson and Tyler Purvis.
Columbia City’s other unblemished mark comes from sophomore Derek Hinen. Coming off doubles last season, Hinen has been unbeatable in his first season at singles.
The No. 3 singles for City only took that record higher, going to 11-0 himself with a win over Bulldog Zach Fritch 6-1, 6-2.
Columbia City had no trouble locking up its first NHC win of the season.
No. 1 singles Dylan Hinen quickly worked his way past Zach Shultz of New Haven, surrendering only two set points 6-0, 6-2.
Seniors Travis Johnson and Cole Craven had just as much success at No. 2 doubles. Johnson and Craven won in identical sets 6-1, 6-1 over Bulldogs Drew Sauer and Landon Flury.
The closest match of the night came in No. 2 singles where Columbia City’s Gabe Boles was pushed to a third set. After taking the first set 6-0, Boles followed up a 6-7 loss in the second set to win handily 6-1.
Currently at 9-2 overall, the Eagles get deep into the conference schedule with their next three dual meets against within the NHC.
Columbia City finishes up the week Thursday at DeKalb, followed by another weekend tournament Saturday at Madison Grant.