In the opening tournament of the 2018 season, the Garden City Buffaloes boys tennis team even surprised their coach with how well things played out.
Winning 15-of-16 matches, and three of the four divisions, the Buffs scored 47 points Saturday to defeat Dodge City, 47-38, at the Great Bend Invitational.
“I kind of thought we would do good, but was surprised to be honest how low the other schools were,” Robinson said of the seven-team field that included two teams from host Great Bend. “A lot of matches were easier than anticipated, and the field wasn’t as tough as I had thought it would be.”
Will Keller and Daniel Darter only lost three games in their four matches, sweeping three matches by 8-0 margins to claim the top spot in No. 1 doubles.
Brian Carrera and Daniel Chacon were almost as good, winning four matches and losing just seven games en route to the No. 2 doubles triumph.
No. 2 singles player Nathan Morren, playing his first varsity match, also took his four opponents to win that division.
Morren had the biggest match of the day, though, when he fell behind Lakin Scheck of Dodge City by scores of 4-1, 5-2 and 7-4, but rallied to win the match in a tiebreaker 8-7 (7-2).
“He showed the most guts as far as playing and coming from behind,” Robinson said of one of his two new singles players. “I thought he showed a lot of poise, a lot of confidence playing his first (varsity) match.”
Huy Nguyen was the lone non-winning Buff, but playing No. 1 singles, which is usually facing the best player on the opposition, still went 3-1 and finished second.
“I thought Huy and Nathan did a great job of keeping their composure,” Robinson said. “All the kids never gave up in their matches, and they had to adjust to the wind and cold. They had to alter the shots into and with the wind.”
Robinson said the pair of doubles teams simply dominated their opponents in each division.
“They just clicked and were on fire,” Robinson said. “They manhandled everybody they played. If they lost a game, it was because of a minor mistake they would make.”
The Buffs will have a 10-day break in tournament action to prepare for the always-tough Salina Central Invitational on April 10. There will be several state-ranked teams in that event, Robinson said.
That tournament will begin a bee-hive week of competition for the Buffs as they will then travel to Hutchinson on April 12 and McPherson on April 14.