MT. VERNON — The difference was in the double matches in the Rams tennis matchup with Marion on Tuesday.
Mt. Vernon and Marion split the singles matchups, but the Wildcats swept through the decisive doubles matches.
“We needed to be ahead going into the doubles, and we ended up being 3-3,” Mt. Vernon coach Randy Knox said. “And I thought that changed the momentum a little bit.”
The top three singles players all won for Mt. Vernon. Nathan Arnold beat Tommy Wilson 10-6. Jared Hatton was victorious over Logan Bennett 10-3. Dalton McGowen also scored a 10-6 victory over Jake Erwin.
“Our top three played real well in singles with Nathan and Jared and Dalton McGowen and played good matches,” Knox said.
Dalton Barnes lost a close match at No. 5 singles for Mt. Vernon 11-10 after a tiebreakers against Mitchell Dierkes. Aiden Ezell lost his match 10-8 after leading 8-7 at No. 4.
“Marion came back and pulled those out,” Knox said.
In doubles, Arnold and Hatton lost 10-7. Marion claimed the other doubles matches 10-3.
“They serve real well and put you on the defensive a lot,” Knox said. “They played the net well also. I thought Marion played well overall.”
The match structure was altered from the traditional best of three sets to accommodate potential rainy conditions that were called for.
“We were trying to get it in before the rain came, but I thought they just outplayed us in the doubles,” Knox said.
Mt. Vernon is 4-2 overall this season and 0-1 in South Seven Conference action.