Tennis team finishes fourth; six play in individual tournament
The Hastings boys tennis team finished its team play last week. Six players will compete Thursday, May 27, in the first round of the individual tournament.
"We played our best tennis our last couple weeks," head coach Mick Willette said.
Early in the season the Raiders battled minor injuries and illnesses and suffered a couple early losses, but they recovered and put up some dominant performances later in the season.
"It's a season where we really improved greatly over the year," Willette said.
Vs. Albert Lea
The Raiders started section playoffs on the right foot May 18. The Raiders defeated Albert Lea 7-0.
None of the boys played more than two sets to earn the win. In singles, Ben Carlson won 6-1 and 6-2, Josh Houska won 6-3 and 6-1, Matt Lund won 6-3 and 6-0 and Chase Kasel won 6-1 and 6-0.
Jake Langeslay and Brett Peterson won 6-2 and 6-0 in the No. 1 doubles spot. Elliot Siebenaler and Cody Arndtson won 6-2 and 6-4. Mitch Murphy and Charlie Carpenter won 6-2 and 6-3.
The boys played a good match May 20 against Winona, Willette said, but they fell just short of a team win and lost 3-4.
The team's three wins were in singles. Carlson won 6-2 in two sets, Lund won 6-3 and 6-2 and Peterson won 6-4 in two sets. Houska lost 6-4, 3-6 and 0-6.
Hastings' doubles teams couldn't pull ahead in any of their sets. Kasel and Langeslay lost 2-6 and 1-6, Siebenaler and Arndtson lost 3-6 in two sets and Carpenter and Murphy lost 1-6 in two sets.
With the loss against Winona, the Raiders ended their team play and tied for fourth place in the Suburban East Conference with Stillwater and Cretin-Derham Hall.
The boys play in the individual sub-section tournament Thursday, May 27, at the Hastings tennis courts. Six of the Hastings boys will compete: Carlson and Houska will play doubles, as will Peterson and Langeslay. Lund will play singles, and the final singles player will be either Carpenter or Kasel, Willette said.
"I feel real confident about Ben and Josh," Willette said.
The two have played No. 1 and No. 2 singles all season, but Willette said he and most other schools are putting their top players on doubles to give them a chance at getting to the state tournament.
"There are two (singles) players who are just lights-out in the section," he said.
Depending on which players the other schools play, Hastings could see a singles player advance to the next round.
"Matt Lund could have a chance to move on," Willette said.
Hastings will compete against Winona, Albert Lea and Farmington.