Red Oak edges Panthers for team state tennis berth
NORWALK — Veteran Red Oak tennis coach Dan Martinez, who also coaches basketball, compared Saturday’s hotly-contested substate team tennis final with Creston/O-M to one of those classic Hawkeye 10 barnburners in a packed gymnasium.
Under a hot sun and a stiff southerly breeze, the Tigers and Panthers went toe-to-toe for nearly four hours trying to gain that precious fifth win in the setup of six singles and three doubles matches.
At stake was a trip to the state final four in team tennis May 28 at Waveland Courts in Des Moines, where the Panthers participated in the Saydel Tournament this season. It would be the first state trip for a Panther team since the 1988 semifinal team coached by Ron Johnson.
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