POCATELLO — It was a pretty good opening day on the tennis courts for the Blackfoot tennis team as they tangled with a pair of state title contenders at Century High School for the season opener.
The Blackfoot boys turned in fine opening performance, winning their duel with Century 4-3 before falling 3-4 to Wood River in the night cap.
The girls fell in the team total in both of their matches, 2-5 to Century and 3-4 to Wood River.
"It was great to get started getting a win from our boys over Century because Century is one of the best teams in the state," Blackfoot head coach Brint Jefferis said. "Starting off so good, with the little practice that we've had all week and the limited time that we had the prior week, to be doing this well against two really good teams is a real optimistic thing for our season."
Blackfoot got some stellar individual performances on the day with several athletes going 2-0 on the day.
In girls doubles, defending state champion Meg Matsuura, who was teaming up with Norwegian foreign exchange student Ayla Lou, picked up right where she left off, with a sweep of the days competition 6-1, 6-3 over Century and 6-1,3-6, 6-4 over Wood River.
"I was a little nervous to start the match but I am always nervous before the start of any match," Matsuura said. "Once I start playing that nervousness seems to go away though and I thought that we were able to hit the ball deep on them which worked really well. Tennis is a strategic game and I thought that we did a good job of using strategy over power which won us the games today."
Most impressive in the sweep was the fact that it came against a pair of teams that are expected to compete for state hardware at the end of the season.
"Ayla is great to play with," Matsuura said. "She is really good at the net and I like to play in the back court so I think that we are a perfect compliment to each other."
Kendall Armstrong also picked up a pair of wins on the day, first by teaming up with Mark Hudson in second mixed doubles, where they knocked off their Century opponents 6-3, 6-0 and then in second girls doubles, teaming up with Brandi Bird for a 7-5, 6-4 win over Wood River.
Hudson also picked up a win against Wood River when he teamed up with Taylor Crumley for a 6-1, 6-1 win.
In boys doubles the freshman tandem of Jacob Harris and Tanner "Smoke" Norton proved to be magical for the Broncos as they picked up a pair of victories in their varsity debut 6-2, 6-2 and 6-4, 7-5.
"They work so well together and they are so smart. That is what puts them ahead of the others. They know when to put the pressure on and when to ease back," coach Jefferis said. "Jacob just started tennis last summer and work that he has been putting in on his own is just phenomenal and Tanner, is just everywhere on the court."
Marc Matsuura rounded out the players who picked up two wins on Thursday as the senior was dominant in his 6-3, 6-1 win over his Century opponent and then showed his mental toughness in a 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 thriller over the foe from Wood River.
"Marc is just incredible," coach Jefferis said. "He did a great job today and we are expecting good things from him this year."
Blackfoot will return to the courts next Wednesday when they host Sugar-Salem beginning at 3:30.
Boys vs Century
Blackfoot 4, Century 3
Girls vs Century
Blackfoot 2, Century 5
Justin Cannon 1-6, 1-6
Tyler Cannon 6-4, 6-2
Marc Matsuura 6-3, 6-1
Bobby Cannon 2-6, 2-6
Tanner Norton 6-2, 6-2
Camille Norton 2-6, 0-6
Kendall Armstrong 6-3, 6-0
Ashley Porter 1-6, 1-6
Christy Hudson 0-6, 2-6
Taylor Crumley 2-6, 4-6
Ayla Lou 6-1, 6-3
Brandi Bird 0-6, 6-2, 1-6
Boys vs Wood River
Blackfoot 3, Wood River 4
Girls vs Wood River
Blackfoot 3, Wood River 4
Justin Cannon 3-6, 2-6
Tyler Cannon 3-6, 4-6
Marc Matsuura 6-1, 4-6, 6-2
Bobby Cannon 1-6, 1-6
Tanner Norton 6-4, 7-5
Camile Norton 0-6, 1-6
Taylor Crumley 6-1, 6-1
Ashley Porter 1-6, 0-6
Christy Hudson 1-6, 0-6
Elizabeth Yancey 1-6, 0-6
Ayla Lou 6-1, 3-6, 6-4
Brandi Bird 7-5, 6-4