WATERLOO — Patience is a virtue Daniel Buchanan has learned during his first season of high school tennis.
Two days removed from qualifying for the Class 1A state singles tournament, Buchanan led Columbus with a convincing 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 1 singles as the Sailors swept Grinnell, 5-0, Saturday in a preliminary substate dual at Brynes Park.
Still small in stature, Buchanan wasn’t concerned with trying to overpower his opposition as he showcased plenty of consistency and patience while waiting to finish points when opportunities arose.
“I’ve played a lot of different playing styles,” Buchanan said, addressing his rookie year with the Sailors. “With the competition, my competitiveness really got up there.
“I didn’t really try and hit it hard. I didn’t really be aggressive. I just tried to hit good angles and move to the net.”
Buchanan’s more experienced teammates have followed his lead, as the Sailors were in control of points throughout this victory over Grinnell. Junior Cole Weber and senior Corey Mack each posted wins by identical, 6-2, 6-2 margins in the No. 2 and 3 matches. Columbus senior John Cannon won 6-1, 6-0 at No. 4 singles and another Columbus freshman, Dylan Mack, finished off his 6-3, 6-2 meet-clinching victory with a volley winner at the net.
“Having a freshman there at No. 1, it’s unusual in tennis,” Columbus coach James Larsen said. “It has put a challenge out there for those upperclassmen.
“Watching how he hits, how he controls the ball and what he does with his different shots has really showed them that they can do it, too. Daniel has brought quite a bit of technique and wisdom to the team.”
Columbus will return to Brynes Park at 8 a.m. Saturday for a substate dual with Cedar Rapids Xavier. The winner of that meet will face the winner of Waverly-Shell Rock’s contest with Marion or Dubuque Wahlert.
Xavier defeated Columbus 7-2 earlier this season, but Larsen likes the gains his team has made in recent weeks.
“These guys have played some very tough competition throughout the year,” Larsen said. “They’ve had some good, close matchups. It’s an opportunity for them to work on their games, find out where their strengths are and what they need to work on so they get to the point where they feel more comfortable.
COLUMBUS 5, GRINNELL 0
SINGLES — Daniel Buchanan (Col) def. Nick Jacobson, 6-0, 6-0, Cole Weber (Col) def. JP Dugas, 6-2, 6-2, Corey Mack (Col) def. James Trettin, 6-2, 6-2, John Cannon (Col) def. Alex Farmer, 6-1, 6-0, Kevin Werner (Grinnell) led Eli Olmstead, 6-3, 4-4, Dylan Mack (Col) def. Adam Brennan, 6-3, 6-2.