Linn-Mar boys tennis coach Chris Wundram apparently knew what he was doing when he kept his team at practice until almost 7:30 Friday night.
By then it was just getting dark, but it was even more cold and windy than it had been most of the day.
“I thought the weather was supposed to be the same way today,” Wundram said Saturday afternoon, after his red-hot Lions crushed Washington 8-1 on the Warriors' home courts. “I wanted the players to practice in those conditions. I thought they’d do better today.”
He was right all the way around. Saturday was nastier than Friday. Overnight rain made for wet courts and caused postponement of Linn-Mar’s early morning match at Kennedy and Washington’s home match against Prairie.
The scheduled noon match was delayed half an hour to give the playing surface more time to dry. But once things got underway, the Lions breezed to an unexpectedly easy victory.
Linn-Mar won all six singles matches, five in straight sets, and two of three doubles matches. The Lions upped their dual record to 11-1 and continued an impressive roll. In their last meet on Tuesday, they took 18 straight sets in a 9-0 shellacking of Iowa City High. And at the Pleasant Valley Invitational last Saturday, the Lions claimed all 27 of their matches.
Linn-Mar has won seven of its dual meets this year by 9-0 margins. The only blemish on the Lions' record is an 8-1 loss to Iowa City West in early April, but the Trojans have steamrolled every team they have faced this year.
“We’re playing pretty well this season,” said Linn-Mar senior Tyler McCann, who is playing No. 2 singles after playing No. 1 on the Lions' golf team last fall. “We lost in the substate finals to (Iowa City) West last year, and our goal this year is to make state.
“Right now, I’d say we’re in the top three, along with Ames. If it stays that way, we might not have to face West again until the state tournament.”
McCann and sophomore Brady Anderson, the Lions' No. 1 singles player, teamed to beat Iowa City West's duo of Kyle Appel and Adam Dellos in their last meeting.
“All of our matches with West were close,” McCann said, who has won every doubles match he’s played this season and has lost only twice in singles.
Anderson, meanwhile, has lost only once this season, a super tiebreaker 10-7 squeaker to West’s No. 1 Blake Oetting.
Anderson demolished Washington’s Mitch Blades on Saturday, 6-1, 6-0.
“Mitch is playing well since he broke his wrist in football,” the victor allowed.
Blades, who had surgery in November, said his injury was no excuse for his play.
“I was just terrible," he said.
Blades and Reid Rossburger did come back to notch Washington’s sole win, a doubles victory over the Lions’ John Kuster and sophomore Trevor McCann, Tyler McCann’s brother.
To complete the brother act at Saturday’s dual, the Linn-Mar Anderson/McCann duo outpointed Washington’s Clayton Hoyt and Mitch Anderson at No. 1 doubles. Mitch Anderson, a senior, is Brady Anderson's older brother and a former Linn-Mar player.
“This was a great win for us,” Wundram said afterward, “particularly on their home turf.
“Wash is always one of the toughest meets of the year for us. All of our guys played really good tennis today.”
LINN-MAR 8, WASHINGTON 1
1. Brady Anderson (LM) def. Mitch Blades, 6-1, 6-0
2. Tyler McCann (LM) def. Mitch Anderson, 6-3, 6-3
3. Trevor McCann (LM) def. Clayton Hoyt, 7-5, 6-1
4. John Kuster (LM) def. Ian Schweiger, 3-6, 6-3, 11-9
5. Dillon Einck (LM) def. Reid Rossburger, 6-2, 6-1
6. Blake Young (LM) def. Blaine Hartman, 6-3, 6-4
1. Brady Anderson/Tyler McCann (LM) def. Mitch Anderson/Hoyt, 6-4, 6-4
2. Blades/Rossburger (CRW) def. Trevor McCann/Kuster, 6-1, 6-3
3. Einck/Young (LM) def. Schweiger/Hartman, 7-6, 6-1