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Boys Tennis: Wingers win 7th in a row, finish 2nd in Missota

Red Wing's Luke Bryant hits a forehand Monday against Northfield at Twin Bluff Middle School in Red Wing. Bryant and Nick Powers won 6-2, 6-2 at No. 1 doubles. Photo by Chris Harrell1 / 3
Travis Toivonen prepares to smash down a forehand volley during Monday's No. 2 doubles match against Northfield in Red Wing. Photo by Chris Harrell2 / 3
Red Wing's Marcus Veith eyes up a forehand at No. 2 doubles against Northfield Monday at Twin Bluff Middle School in Red Wing. Veith and Travis Toivonen won 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 6-2 at No. 2 doubles. Photo by Chris Harrell3 / 3

Red Wing won its seventh consecutive match Monday with a 6-1 victory against Northfield at Twin Bluff Middle School in Red Wing.

The Wingers faced little resistance by the Raiders, winning the first three matches handily.

Isaac Toivonen defeated Evan Johnson 6-0, 6-3 at No. 1 singles, and Alex Holm steamrolled past Kevin Kowalewski 6-0, 6-0 at No. 3 singles. At No. 1 doubles, Luke Bryant and Nick Powers completed a 6-2, 6-2 victory.

"We just took over the net a lot and really took advantage of their second serves," Bryant said. "We have a different type of formation so that throws teams off."

Noah Christenson sealed the overall win for the Wingers with a workman-like 6-4, 6-4 victory at No. 2 singles against Andrew Johnson.

"He was steady all through the match," Red Wing head coach Matt Kavanagh said. "It's really up to his opponent to out-play him. I always have a lot of confidence in Noah that he's going to show up and play steady tennis every time."

The Wingers' Travis Toivonen and Marcus Veith appeared poised for a quick victory at No. 2 doubles, taking the first set 6-3 but struggled to close out the match after leading 5-2 in the second set. Toivonen and Veith dropped the second-set tiebreak 7-4 to Spencer Jones and Maxwell Nickel, but regrouped to win the third set 6-2.

"They were up 5-2 and just sort of took their foot off the gas a little bit," Kavanagh said. "That's very uncharacteristic for those guys. They played a little bit of a loose tiebreak. I told them to rediscover the focus they had in the first set which is what they did."

Red Wing (8-4, 6-1 Missota) picked up its final victory at No. 4 singles where Nick Meyer outlasted Scott Silkensen 6-4, 2-6, 6-1.

"It was good to see him win in three sets because a lot of times when the game goes the distance, their mental toughness can drop a little bit," Kavangh said. "It was great to see him do that."

In defeating Northfield, the Wingers sealed up second place in the Missota Conference, with their only loss was to conference champions Shakopee. At the Missota Conference meeting Monday night, Kavanagh said six Red Wing players were named to the All-Missota Conference team. Isaac Toivonen, Travis Toivonen, Veith, Powers and Bryant all received All-Conference honors, and Christenson was named Honorable Mention.

Next up, the second-seeded Wingers will host eighth-seeded Faribault Tuesday at Twin Bluff Middle School in the first round of the Section 1AA South sub-section tournament. Kavanagh said he hoped to get a No. 1 seed for the playoffs but Lakeville South and Rochester Mayo received the top seeds. Either way, Red Wing will need to get by the Spartans if it wants to win a section title. Rochester Mayo defeated the Wingers 6-1 earlier in the season.

"The top goal is to get to the Final Four of sections," Bryant said. "Another good goal would be to get to the section finals again. Rochester Mayo is the team to get by."

Chris Harrell
Chris Harrell is a sports reporter for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he interned at the St. Paul Pioneer Press and The Daily Caller in Washington, D.C. For updates on local sports, follow Chris on Twitter at @RECHarrell.
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