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Boys Tennis: Wingers advance to section semifinals

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Boys Tennis: Wingers advance to section semifinals
Red Wing Minnesota 2760 North Service Drive / P.O. Box 15 55066

After losing to Rochester Century earlier this season, Red Wing had a good idea of what to expect from the Panthers, and what could possibly turn the tables.

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It worked exactly as planned as the Wingers moved into the Section 1AA semifinals with a 4-3 victory on Thursday.

“The lineup we ran today was perfect for that team,” Red Wing head coach Matt Kavanagh said. “I was pretty confident that we could come out 4-3, and I had a chat with our team to come out and play as competitively as possible.”

Kavanagh said he would go with a lineup featuring strong doubles play instead of the balanced lineup that saw Century beat the Wingers 5-2 on May 3. That left No. 1 singles player Isaac Toivonen as the lone win needed at the top.

For a while, it seemed it might not work.

After both Toivonen and his opponent, Sahil Chhugani, kept serve through the first 11 games, Toivonen broke the Panther to win 7-5. And that sparked the senior to a shutout win in the second set.

“They went all the way to 6-5 without breaking serve. That was a big turning point and he steamrolled him in the second set,” Kavanagh said.

The top two doubles teams got through without much difficulty, but the No. 3 doubles played a nail-biting, third-set tiebreaker. After being down 4-0 and 6-3 in the final set, the team rallied to make it 6-6, fought off two more match points, and won 11-9 in the tiebreaker.

Next up for Red Wing is Lakeville North, in Farmington, at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the Sub-section 1AA North semifinals. If the third-seeded Wingers pull the upset against top-seeded North, they would play the south champion, either Rochester Mayo or Lakeville South, in the section final at 1 p.m.

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The Red Wing Republican Eagle covers local sports in Goodhue County and surrounding areas. 
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