Boys Tennis: Wingers advance to the section semifinalsThe first three points for Red Wing were a breeze on a windy day at Twin Bluff Middle School in Red Wing, but the deciding point took a little more coaxing.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
The first three points for Red Wing were a breeze on a windy day at Twin Bluff Middle School in Red Wing, but the deciding point took a little more coaxing.
The Wingers took a 3-0 lead in less than an hour against Lakeville South in the second round of the Section 1AA tournament and got their fourth and deciding point from Alex Holm at No. 3 singles, a 6-2, 6-4 victory. Red Wing ended up winning 6-1 after taking two doubles matches in three sets.
“He played tremendously,” Red Wing head coach Randy Decker said of Holm. “I was nervous but I couldn’t ask any better of our singles players. I tell the guys it’s not about winning or losing but we would have had to play poorly to lose.”
The Wingers’ singles lineup made sure that wouldn’t happen with a sweep of all four spots. Sophomore Isaac Toivonen defeated Ian Bird 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1 singles, senior George Gabrielson dominated 6-0, 6-1 against Cash Rodamaker at No. 2 singles and at No. 4 singles, sophomore Noah Christenson rolled past Mitch Johnson 6-0, 6-1.
Holm played against Chase Roseth, a top ranked seventh grader, and took control early, garnering a 5-0 lead in the first set but Roseth wouldn’t go away. In the second set, Holm again got out to a quick lead but Roseth made the Wingers a little uncomfortable by pulling within a game at 5-4 before Holm finally put him away.
“He was really consistent,” Holm said of Roseth. “He played a lot of deep lobs. He was tough to play against.”
Holm was aggressive coming to the net and Decker said Holm’s ability to end points quickly with volleys was crucial.
“I thought that was the big match today,” Decker said. “It took pressure off everybody else. He had great strokes … but he played smart too.”
Red Wing’s No. 1 doubles team of sophomore Nick Powers and Luke Bryant dropped the first set but stormed back for a 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 victory. The pairing clicked in the middle of the second set and dismantled a tough doubles team. Sophomore Marcus Veith and eighth-grader Travis Toivonen secured the Wingers’ final point with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 win at No. 3 doubles while seniors Steffen Bettich and Elliot Dietz dropped a close match at No. 2 doubles, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6.
The top-seeded Wingers will play third-seeded Northfield Tuesday in the Section 1AA Final Four at Owatonna High School. The match begins at 9 a.m.