Mustang tennis team opens season

By JOCELYN SHEETS
Register Sports Editor

INDEPENDENCE — Iola High’s Kent Toland went 3-1 for second place in the No. 1 singles division of Tuesday’s 2009 season opening tennis meet.
With just five players on the tennis team, head coach Lyle Kern has Toland as the only singles player this season.
“Kent played with very few errors until the last match against Independence,” Kern said. “His opponent was real strong and forced Kent out of his normal game.”
Toland posted back-to-back 8-0 wins over Pittsburg’s Mike Crowley and Fort Scott’s Ben Bristley. He beat Matt Stutt of Chanute 8-1.
Dan Porter of Independence defeated Toland 8-2.
Iola’s No. 1 doubles team players were Michael Middleton and Chase Vaughn. Playing as No. 2 doubles team were Mack Melvin and Devin Manbeck. The doubles teams were winless.
“This was the first time Michael and Chase had played doubles together. It was the first time Devin had played competitive tennis,” Kern said.
“Michael and Chase had a lead in every match but couldn’t keep it. I discovered several things to work on but serving is first and foremost.”
Middleton and Vaughn lost 8-2 to Pittsburg’s John Hamilton and Josh Vanurden. They lost 8-3 to both Fort Scott’s Josh Grant and Dustin Willard and to Chanute's Mason Johnson and John Cheshier. They lost 8-1 to Independence’s Shane Fergusen and Omar Elshabassy.
In No. 2 doubles, Melvin and Manbeck lost 8-1 to Fort Scott’s Chris Lamb and Charlie Sercer. They lost 8-0 to Pittsburg’s Josh Reed and Clay Southern, to Chanute’s Cody Diamond and David Collins and to Independence’s Wes Goodrich and Anthony Davis.
The Mustangs play at home Thursday against Columbus, Parsons and Independence. Matches start at 3 p.m.