Tennis: Regular season concludes; Raiders take 2nd
The regular season for Hastings boys tennis is now a thing of the past. Already.
The good news for the Raiders is that thanks to a great season record of 11-3, the team has earned the No. 1 seed in the north for Section 1AA. That means the Raiders earned a first-round bye in the 14-team section.
Hastings will begin its section tournament at home Thursday, May 14, against Austin. The match will start at 3:30 p.m.
Rochester Mayo earned the south's No. 1 seed. Rochester Century and Winona are two of the other top teams in the section.
The Raiders finished Suburban East Conference play last week with a pair of wins.
The two wins improved Hastings' record to 7-1 in the conference, good for second place behind Mounds View.
Against Roseville on Wednesday, Hastings cruised to a 6-1 win.
"Everything was clicking," Hastings coach Mick Willette said. "We got off to a bit of a sluggish start, but once we turned it around we played one of our more complete matches of the year."
Hastings swept Roseville in doubles, a feat that surprised the Roseville faithful.
"Their coach said his team has been winning a lot of doubles matches," Willette said. "That says a lot about how we're playing here at the end of the year."
In doubles, the team of Adam Ernst and Josh Houska won 6-1, 6-2.
Brett Peterson and Jake Langeslay had little trouble at second doubles, winning 6-3, 6-2.
And at third doubles, the team of Lars Schauerhammer and Elliot Siebenaler earned a hard-fought win, 7-5, 6-4.
In singles play, Mike Lund lost a tough match at first singles, 7-5, 5-7, 2-6.
"Mike has been playing well," Willette said. "He's competing. He's giving us a chance at one singles in most matches. He battled, but came up just a hair short."
Non Wiwatwongthorn won at second singles, 6-4, 6-3 .
"Non didn't start out playing very well, but turned it around in the middle of the first set," Willette said.
Freshman Ben Carlson won at third singles, 5-7, 6-0, 6-4.
"Ben, I forget sometimes how young he is," Willette said. "Emotionally, he beats himself up out there. That's what happened early in that match. He just wasn't playing that well.
"He was focused on all the bad points he had and not thinking about the next point. I think he realized he was making a lot more work for himself.
"It was a really important match for him to win, even though he wasn't playing his best."
Matt Lund won at fourth singles, 6-4, 6-1.
Chase Kasel won an exhibition singles match as well.
Thursday Hastings played host to Stillwater and won, 5-2.
"That was a competitive match right from the start," Willette said. "Where we lost, we lost because Stillwater was a very talented team and really played well. We did a good job of making Stillwater earn everything. We didn't give them any free points."
Mike Lund cruised to a big win at first singles, 6-2, 6-4.
Wiwatwongthorn lost his first set, 4-6, then came back to win the match by claiming the next two sets, 6-3, 6-2.
"Non was patient and just frustrated the other kid," Willette said. "That's one thing we trust with Non: He'll always have his composure. He's not going to beat himself emotionally."
Carlson had no trouble at third singles, winning, 6-0, 6-1.
Matt Lund lost at fourth singles, 4-6, 0-6.
In doubles, Houska and Ernst lost 6-7 (4-7), 0-6.
"The Stillwater team was very talented, but I think Adam and Josh beat themselves in that one," Willette said. "They had an emotional letdown after losing the first set, and couldn't get themselves back up to compete.
Peterson and Langeslay won 6-2, 6-1 at second doubles.
At the third spot, Siebenaler and Schauerhammer won 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 7-6 (7-3).