Weather Forecast


Boys Tennis: Wingers advance with ease over Austin

Red Wing's Nick Powers connects with a forehand during No. 1 doubles play in Tuesday's Section 1AA opening-round match with Austin in Red Wing. Powers, along with partner Travis Toivonen won their match 6-1, 6-1. (Republican Eagle photo by Joe Brown)

If there was one goal for Red Wing on Tuesday, aside from advancing in the Section 1AA playoffs, it was to keep the intensity as high as possible.

“It was important to stay as intense as possible out here so you don’t drop your game level down to the level of your opposition,” said Wingers head coach Matt Kavanagh.

And with that sense of urgency, third-seeded Red Wing had no trouble disposing of the sixth-seeded Packers for a 6-1 victory at Twin Bluff Middle School.

While they were busy playing Austin, the Wingers’ focus was getting better for a potential matchup against Rochester Century. That matchup came to fruition as the second-seeded Panthers blew by No. 7 Albert Lea, 7-0.

“We came out like we would in any other match,” said Red Wing No. 1 singles player Isaac Toivonen, who celebrated his 18th birthday with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Colton Detwiler. “Our next match will be tougher with Century, so today was a preparation to make sure we’re doing all the things we’re going to do against Century, such as going to the net or rally. We had to focus on doing what we need to do against Century, and we did that today.”

Back on May 3, the Wingers lost 5-2 to the Panthers. In that match, Red Wing played a singles-heavy lineup and fell victim to Century’s depth. This time around, Kavanagh is hoping a strong showing by his doubles can sway Thursday’s rematch in his team’s favor.

Against the Packers on Tuesday, the Wingers’ doubles swept all three matches, losing just five games in the process. The No. 1 team of Nick Powers and Travis Toivonen, as well as the No. 3 team of Alex Bettich and Ben Schaeffer won 6-1, 6-1, while the No. 2 duo of Marcus Veith and Josh Lyons won 6-0, 6-1.

“If we go hard in doubles, we’ll have a much better shot there,” Kavanagh said.

In singles play, Noah Christenson won 6-0, 6-2 over Jeremy Olmsted at No. 2, and Alex Holm won convincingly at No. 3 over Seth Hebrink, 6-1, 6-0.

The only blemish came at No. 4 doubles, where Austin’s Jens Ourada came back from a first-set loss to defeat Red Wing’s Nick Meyer 3-6, 7-5, 10-8.

Putting in a dominant performance in the opening round, the Wingers are just hoping some of that momentum carries into Thursday’s 2-3 section matchup.

“It’ll be a good match. We know the lineup we’re going to run versus them and I think it’ll work,” Isaac Toivonen said. “We’ll see how it goes against Century.”

Joe Brown

Joe Brown is the sports editor for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he worked at the Marshall Independent and the St. Cloud Times. For updates on local sports, follow Joe on Twitter at @RE_JBrown.

(651) 301-7878