Defending state champion West High made a big statement in its season-opener on Tuesday, downing 2012 state qualifier, West Des Moines Valley, 11-0.
“It means a lot,” West senior Kyle Appel said. “They are a good team. It was spirited, you could tell.”
West coach Mitch Gross wants to provide his team with tests early and often in 2013. The defending Class 2A champions return their entire state tournament lineup.
“Valley expressed an interested in coming down,” Gross said. “It’s a chance to see what we’ve got to start the season.”
What West has is another dominant team. The Trojans won every match on Tuesday, even playing by CIML (Central Iowa Metropolitan League) rules and having two more doubles matches than in standard MVC (Mississippi Valley Conference) play.
“I thought we played stellar,” Gross said. “We didn’t miss a single note.”
Blake Oetting beat state singles qualifer Anders Jensen 6-1, 6-1 at No. 2 singles. Adam Dellos blanked Tommy Maigaard at No. 4 singles 6-0, 6-0.
Appel beat Ryan Petersen at No. 1 singles 6-0, 6-2.
It was a challenging afternoon, with temperatures at about 32 degrees and a brisk wind blowing through the courts behind West High.
“You’ve got to keep jumping around and stay positive,” Appel said. “It’s easy to get down when its this cold and windy. You’ve got to stay positive, and keep a good attitude.”
Everyone was off the court quickly, but the No. 2 doubles match came down to a tiebreaker. David DiLeo and Karl Wenzel beat Jensen and Maigaard 6-4, 6-7, 10-8 to complete the sweep for West.
West High defeated Valley 5-0 in the 2A state semifinals a year ago in Des Moines on the way to the state championship. The Trojans had five starters from that team playing today, along with junior Trent Schneider.
— Results, 3B.