WATERLOO - North Polk sophomore Evan Moon took second place in singles play and Ballard had a doubles team go 1-2 at the Class 1A boys’ state singles and doubles tennis tournament Friday and Saturday at the Byrnes Park Tennis Courts in Waterloo.
Moon followed up last year’s eighth-place finish at state by going 3-1 last weekend to establish himself as one of the premier players in the state.
The talented sophomore lived up to being seeded second individually. He defeated Le Mars’ Zach Wingert, Dubuque Wahlert’s Jack Lucy and Columbus Catholic’s Daniel Buchanan before falling to top-seeded Jon Lansing, of Cedar Rapids Xavier, in the finals.
“It feels really good,” Moon said. “It shows how much I’ve improved and how hard I’ve worked over the summer and winter to get to that point.”
On Friday, Moon downed Wingert 6-1, 6-0, and Lucy, 6-2, 6-1. That put Moon in the semifinals against Buchanan on Saturday, and he beat the No. 3 seed in impressive fashion, 6-1, 6-2.
“I didn’t really know what to expect,” Moon said. “I was just happy to play my game and take it match by match.”
The 1A singles championship match saw Moon put up a good fight against Lansing in extremely hot weather conditions. Moon dropped the first set, 6-3, then suffered a 6-2 setback in the second.
“I feel like up until the championship match I was playing very good,” Moon said. “The second day the conditions affected me a little bit, but (Lansing) was really good.”
Moon said he was on his game at the right time to earn the runner-up finish.
“It felt like my serve was good and I was making a lot of shots and not a lot of errors,” Moon said. “It felt like I also played to people’s weaknesses really good.”
North Polk head boys’ tennis coach Bill Taylor was impressed with his young No. 1 singles player.
“As the coach, I was amazed at the way this young man performed,” Taylor said. “Not only in this weather, but (with) the stress of the tournament.”
The runner-up finish sets the stage for potentially even bigger things for Moon over the next two seasons.
“I’m pretty excited,” Moon said. “Hopefully I can get even better.”
Caleb Hamerlinck and Max Olsan formed the Ballard team that picked up one victory in the 1A doubles tournament at state.
Hamerlinck and Olsan were swept by Maharishi’s Kai Vessey and Devan Burke in the first round of the championship bracket, 6-0, 6-0. But they came back to down Waverly-Shell Rock’s Thomas Kenealy and Adam Ramker 6-3, 6-3.
In the consolation second round, Hamerlinck and Olsan were dealt 6-2 and 6-3 setbacks by Atlantic’s Grant Podhajsky and Cooper McDermott.