ELIDA – In the opening match of the boys tennis season, Van Wert traveled to Elida for a non-league encounter with the Bulldogs. In a match more closely contested than the final score would indicate, Elida gained a 4-1 win.
Van Wert's Michael Etter overcame a tough first set to claim the Cougars' only win, defeating Elida sophomore Tyler Christoff 3-6, 6-0, 6-4. The Cougars narrowly missed a chance for another win when Kannen Wannemacher fell to Sebastian Kunkleman at second singles. Wannemacher won the first set, but dropped each of the next two by identical 6-4 scores.
At first doubles, Michael Hellman and Zane Fast were on the wrong end of what was easily the match of the day. After the Cougar duo won the first set at 7-5, it was Elida's Jared Ramirez and Nathan Smith that claimed a 7-5 win in set No. 2. The third set went well beyond, with Elida outlasting the Cougars in a tiebreaker, winning 10-6.
Elida secured victories also at third singles and second doubles. The Cougars (0-1) are at Celina on Tuesday.