SOUTH BEND — Danny Boussom of Goshen cranked out two of the bigger victories in his promising tennis career over the weekend of June 13-15 while competing in the USTA Midwest Level 2 Team Cup.
On the Notre Dame courts, with Notre Dame coaches among those watching, the 16-year-old Boussom defeated ND recruit and defending Indiana high school state singles champion Danny Rayl 6-1, 7-5 during the 18-and-under event.
Boussom also downed Nick Dykema, an All-Big East player last season at Marquette University, 7-6, 6-4.
“I never get nervous, but I’ve never been in a position before where I beat players of this caliber,” Boussom said, “and I was getting a little nervous. I was trying to be loud with my breathing, and I was sighing hard between points, just to make sure I relaxed, and it helped so much.”
Rayl, who completed his junior year at Indianapolis Park Tudor with a 30-0 record last fall, entered the weekend ranked 33rd nationally and second in Indiana in the Class of 2015 by Tennis Recruiting Network.
Boussom, who is home-schooled, entered the weekend rated 61st nationally and first in Indiana in the the Class of 2016.
The big-serving Dykema, who turns 19 next month, was Marquette’s co-team MVP this past season.
Boussom overwhelmed Rayl in the opening set of that match, even having three chances to win 6-0, then stormed back from a 4-1 deficit in the second set.
Against Dykema, Boussom punctuated his win with an overhead shot that bounced over the fence for the clincher.
“That was sweet,” Boussom said.
Boussom, who was playing No. 1 singles for Northern Indiana, also won each of his other three singles matches in straight sets, the closest being 6-2, 6-2, and he went 3-1 in doubles play.
Besides ND, matches in the Cup were contested at Leeper Park and South Bend Racquet Club.
Boussom plays in the USTA Midwest Outdoor Closed Championships this coming weekend in Indianapolis.