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Firebirds fire first volley against Fike; now 6-0

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The opening 3-A Big East Conference boys tennis match between Fike and Southern Nash ended with the Firebirds remaining undefeated with a 7-2 victory on the Golden Demons’ courts March 12.

Fike, which dropped to 2-2 overall, did not make it easy for the Firebirds, now 6-0. Fike’s Cole Peterson and Marty Madar won at Nos. 1 and 5 singles in straight sets, respectively, to give their team a shot going into doubles play.

Southern Nash’s Dylan Alligood, Hector Perez, David Vasquez and Michael Hernandez all took their matches in straight sets.

But the Firebirds swept doubles.

“We were certainly competitive against a very good team, but we’re still trying to put together some of the pieces and figure out what our best lineup is,” first-year Fike head coach Chris Mizelle said. “I think that was probably a strong point for them — they look like they got it figured out. But we’re going to see them again in a few weeks and hopefully we’ve done a little finding out who needs to be where to be a bit more competitive than we were today.”

Despite the win, neither Firebirds head coach Brad Joyner nor his players were happy with the way they played because they let a few set points and matches get away from them.

“One of my players just came up to me and said, ‘We need to work on net,’ and he’s right,” Joyner said. “As a coach, you’re looking for the things you’re struggling with so that you can try to make improvements. But the main thing is that when you can struggle and win a close match, it’s much better to learn from winning a close match than to have learn from losing.”

Aside from Fike being a contender for the conference crown, Joyner was happy to beat Fike for the first time since March 27, 2014.

Perez and Vasquez each go to 5-0 on the season in singles. Hernandez goes to 4-0, and 4-0 along with Alligood as his doubles partner on the season.