It was a second straight road trip for the Class 2A third-ranked Waukee High School boys tennis team Tuesday afternoon at Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines.
The Warriors put on a nearly unblemished performance, losing just one of the eleven matches including both singles and doubles. This comes after just a pair of blemishes in doubles and singles during the Johnston Invitational last Saturday.
It all started with understandably the toughest match of the meet between Waukee’s number one Will Ecklund and Dowling’s number one Daniel Lu. Set one for Ecklund began strong and the sophomore kept that going, never quite giving up the lead, and ending with a 6-3 opening set win. Where things got dicey was in set two where an early run by Lu set Ecklund back and he just couldn’t recover, falling in the second set 6-1. Ecklund did dig deep and captured the only point needed in the decisive set three by a 1-0 mark. The set two loss for Ecklund marked the only set loss of the season so far for the sophomore standout. Ecklund now boasts a game record of 30-9 overall.
One individual who has remained perfect through a pair of matches has been returning state meet star, Noah Burmeister. The returning letter winning senior continues to remain perfect after sweeping Dowling Catholic’s Jack Drey in two straight sets. The senior jumped out to early leads in both sets with set one being the stingiest, yet still, Burmeister came away with a 6-2 set one win. Set two was nearly over from the start and Burmeister swept the match two sets to none. The same outcome was had by every singles match for Waukee, including fellow returning letter winner Sam Fouts. Fouts took control of set one late in a 6-2 win but had a tougher time as Dowling’s Michael Frazier made a strong comeback in set two. Fortunately, Fouts was able to quell the oncoming storm and defeat his opponent in set two 6-3.
Rounding out the final three spots for the Warriors included Steven Danna who marked the only Warrior single to not allow a single set point. Pujit Mekala won his two sets 6-1 and 6-2 while Sai Rayasam took the win with a 6-1 set one win and a 6-0 set two shutout.
Sai Rayasam and Pujit Mekala teamed up in doubles and continued their great work in a doubles format. The underclassmen pair looked poised and comfortable in their two-set victory, winning set one in narrow fashion 7-5 and set two 6-1. Waukee’s top doubles pair in Burmeister and Ecklund also had a challenge in their first set. The experienced duo almost saw a sizable early lead disappear after Dowling stormed back with three late points, but in the end, the Waukee pair laid claim to the first set 6-3. Set two included a little less hair pulling in a 6-2 win which ultimately took the match.
The only match loss for the Warriors came from the doubles pair of Steven Danna And Sam Fouts. Up against one of the top ten doubles pairs in the state, Danna and Fouts took on Dowling’s Jack Drey and Michael Frazier, falling in two straight sets 6-4 and 6-3. Eric Stradling joined returning state doubles participant Wyatt Karras and gave up just two set points to Dowling, ultimately prevailing 6-1 in set one and 6-1 in set two. Finally, seniors Adam Severson and Justin Urban walked away victorious with a 6-1 opening set victory, followed by a 6-3 set two win.
The Warriors are now 2-0 in one-on-one match-ups. Waukee will now return home for their next bout of action in a calendar circling match. Beginning at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 11, the Warriors welcome in the Tigers of West Des Moines Valley.