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Boys tennis: Wingers win season-opening tournament

Thanks to an overpowering performance by its singles players, Red Wing won three matches and captured the Menomonie Invite title. Red Wing beat the host school 6-1, La Crosse Central 5-2 and La Crosse Logan 7-0.

Red Wing's singles players combined for an 11-1 record Saturday. Playing No. 1 singles, sophomore George Gabrielson finished 2-1 and at No. 2 singles junior Isaac Wyland recorded a 3-0 record. Both players have moved up a rung on the singles ladder since last season.

"(They) were definitely tested and they passed the tests with flying colors," said Red Wing coach Randy Decker, adding, "They played long and physically demanding matches and did what I asked of them -- to keep a lot of balls in play and wear down their opponents."

The Wingers' No. 3 and 4 singles players didn't receive the same kind of tests: They lost a total of 15 games in six matches. Eighth-grader Isaac Toivonen won all three of his matches at No. 3 singles while eighth-grader Noah Christenson (2-0) and sophomore Christian Leitner (1-0) filled the final singles spot.

Decker said the best match of the day might have taken place against La Crosse Logan at No. 1 doubles. Red Wing seniors Tyler Johnson and Josh Busch won 6-0, 6-0.

"Bouncing back from a disappointing second round, they absolutely dismantled a pretty good team from La Crosse Logan," Decker said. He added: "They volleyed extremely well and consistently took control of the net from the other team."

Sophomore Steffen Bettich and freshman Luke Bryant filled in at No. 3 doubles because a couple teammates were on vacation and finished 3-0 in their first varsity action.

"Though the results were excellent, our team is clearly a work in progress," Decker said. "Our doubles play was a bit up and down. We weren't consistently moving and being aggressive."