Tennis team wins after coach adjusts lineup
The first few Raider boys tennis matches of the spring led head coach Mick Willette to make some changes to the lineup, bringing some of the more experienced seniors to the more difficult singles matches and letting the younger players fill in doubles.
"I think that's what we need to do," Willette said. "We need to strengthen that singles lineup."
The doubles players have the benefit of experience.
"What was being asked of them was not much different than last year," Willette said of senior doubles players Jake Langeslay and Brett Peterson.
The Raiders lost their first two match-ups against Rosemount and Woodbury 2-5.
"I think we were a little shell-shocked," Willette said.
The tough losses forced the team to re-evaluate its goals and expectations, and while the team hoped to make second place in the conference again this year, it doesn't seem that will happen anymore.
"I don't think that's a realistic goal right now," Willette said.
Sophomore Ben Carlson will keep the No. 1 singles spot. Moving out of doubles, Peterson will play No. 2 singles and Langeslay will play No. 3. Junior Chase Kasel, who was the No. 3 singles player, will play No. 4.
"I have to remember that this is a new group of guys," Willette said. "We are a new team."
Hastings took on Rosemount April 12 and came home with two wins in doubles play. Langeslay and Peterson won their sets 6-2 and 6-0. Arndtson and Roach won 7-5 and 6-2. Senior Mitch Murphy and junior Charlie Carpenter lost 3-6 and 2-6.
In singles, Carlson lost 3-6, 6-4, and 1-6. Junior Matt Lund lost 5-7 and 4-6. Kasel lost 6-0, 1-6, and 6-7. Senior Jake Albertson lost 1-6 and 3-6.
The Raiders doubles teams proved strong again last Thursday.
Langeslay and Peterson scored a 6-4, 6-3 win over Woodbury. Senior Josh Houska and Carpenter teamed up to win two of three sets, 6-4, 3-6, and 6-4. Murphy and Arndtson lost, putting up scores of 2-6, 6-4, and 2-6. Sophomores Lenny Weiss and Drey LaCroix played an extra set and won 6-2.
Singles players fell short, with losses in all their sets and only one point to show on all four courts.
Carlson lost 0-6 in both sets in the No. 1 spot. Lund scored 1-6 and 0-6 in the No. 2 spot, scoring the only singles point of the day for the Raiders. Kasel and Roach both lost 0-6 in each of their two sets.
St. Cloud invitational
Last weekend, the Raiders traveled to Apollo High School in St. Cloud, where they played eight schools. Elk River won the invitational with 45 points, but with the new lineup, Hastings kept up and placed fourth with 28 points, behind Hutchinson (35 points) and St. Cloud Tech (29 points).
"We were right there in that second group," Willette said. "A point here or there could have gotten us ahead of Tech."
Vs. Red Wing
The Raiders turned it around Monday and came out with their first win, edging out Red Wing 4-3.
In singles, Carlson won 7-5 and 6-2; Peterson lost 7-5, 2-6, and 4-6; Langeslay lost 2-6 and 2-6; and Kasel won 6-4 and 6-3. Roach played an extra singles match and lost 0-6 in both sets. Albertson won his extra match 6-2 and 6-3.
Houska and Lund teamed up for a 6-0 and 6-2 win in the No. 1 doubles spot, and Murphy and Carpenter earned another win with scores of 6-2 and 7-6 (7-4 tiebreaker). Senior Elliot Siebenaler and Arndtson lost 1-6, 7-5, and 2-6. Juniors Sean Kolodziej and Matt Friederichs played an extra doubles match and lost 6-7 (4-7 tiebreaker) and 5-7.