The Granite City Warriors’ boys’ tennis season ended on May 22 on a down note.
The Warriors finished with no points in the seven-team Belleville West Sectional, unable to pull out a win in singles or doubles competition.
Still, coach Raffi Karibian was pleased with the way his team performed this season.
The Warriors won five matches and placed sixth in the Southwestern Conference regular season and tournament standings.
“The season went really well,” said Karibian, who wrapped up his 10th season as head coach. “I think we improved tremendously as the season went along. We’ve got good numbers and I didn’t finish the season with any seniors, so therefore I think we’ll be a strong team next season.”
Juniors Jeremy Erickson and Chase Zezoff and sophomores Corey Hackethal, Carter Roustio, Hayden Day and Brian Ames competed at the Belleville West Sectional. Ames and Day were eliminated in the first round in singles competition at Belleville East. The doubles teams of Hackethal/Zezoff and Roustio/Erickson were knocked out in the first round at Belleville West.
“We didn’t score any points today, but we played pretty well overall,” Karibian said.
The Granite City tennis season officially ended when Hackethal and Zezoff lost 6-1, 6-4 to Collinsville’s Ben Hunsinger and Will Henze of Collinsville.
Roustio and Erickson lost 6-1, 6-0 to Donovan McKnight and Devin Piper of Althoff; Day lost 6-1, 6-0 to Belleville West’s Sam Calhoun and Ames lost 6-0, 6-1 to Waterloo’s Jackson Ivers.
Karibian said he’s pleased his team will have its entire lineup back in 2016.
“I’m really excited about the future,” Karibian said. “I think the next couple of years will look very promising. I think we’ll continue to improve and get better and hopefully, we’ll move up the order a little bit in conference play and improve our dual record. One thing I’m hoping for is to get some freshmen out next season. We had a couple of freshmen come out this season. Hopefully, we’ll get four or five out next season and keep that pattern.”
Karibian said in order for his team to be successful next season, his players have to practice during the offseason.
“We just have to do our part and get out this summer and come to practice and work hard and get out and play some tournaments, hopefully,” Karibian said.