Tennis: Four advance to section tourney
After the team season ended for the Hastings tennis team, the individual sub-section tournament got under way Thursday, May 21.
Hastings had two singles players and two doubles teams in the sub-section tournament.
Here are the results:
Mike Lund, who played No. 1 singles for Hastings all season, got a bye in the first round.
He won his first match over an opponent from Austin, 6-4, 6-1.
Ben Carlson won his first round match over a Lakeville South opponent, 6-0, 6-0.
Next, he beat the No. 1 player from Austin, 6-4, 6-2.
That set up a matchup between the two Hastings players in the sub-section championship. Carlson won over Lund, 6-4, 6-2.
Both players then advanced to the section tournament, where the competition was incredibly good.
Lund and Carlson both lost their first round matches to Rochester Century players. Both are among the state's best.
"These are very elite players who have the caliber to be in the state's top 10," Willette said. "It wasn't a lack of effort on Mike's part, or Ben's part. They just ran into some elite competition."
Lund lost to Century's No. 1 player, 6-0, 6-0.
"It was unfortunate that was his last match as a high school tennis player," Willette said. "At least he made it to the section tournament, which he hadn't been able to do in the past. It was a nice accomplishment to make it that far."
Carlson lost to the No. 2 singles player from Century, 6-2, 6-0.
"Ben had a very good individual tournament," Willette said. "He was playing his best tennis of the year. The fact that he does play in a lot of individual tournaments during the summer really showed. He looked comfortable with that format."
Josh Houska and Adam Ernst had a very good regular season for Hastings, and with that they earned a bye in the first round.
In the second round, the Hastings team lost its first set, 3-6, before coming back to win the next two, 6-4, 6-4.
"It was a pretty tense and exhausting match for them," Willette said.
In the championship match for the sub-section, Houska and Ernst lost 4-6, 2-6.
"They played a pretty good match," Willette said.
Since the top two teams from each sub-section advance, the team of Houska and Ernst got back at it last Tuesday. They ended up losing to the No. 2-seeded team from Winona, 6-4, 3-6, 3-6.
In the final set, Hastings led in each of the final three games but couldn't put Winona away.
"They just couldn't close out those important games," Willette said. "It was kind of hard to watch. They other team played pretty well when it counted most."
Brett Peterson and Jake Langeslay teamed up and won their first round match over a Lakeville South team, 6-0, 6-1.
In the second round, they played well but lost to a team from Austin, 1-6, 5-7.
The loss was Peterson and Langeslay's first this year.
Hastings had its season-ending banquet Thursday night.
Six players were all-conference and one was honorable mention.
Lund, Carlson, Non Wiwatwongthorn, Houska, Ernst and Peterson were all -conference. Langeslay was honorable mention.
"Overall, it was a very successful year," Willette said. "We had four matches that were 4-3. We won them all. Really, that's all you can ask of a team. That's what made the season fun -- winning those close matches, feeling like you did everything you could."