Hastings boys' tennis advances to sectional finals
The Hastings boys' tennis team had made it to the sectional finals for what head coach Michael Willette thinks is the first time since the mid-1990s. The Raiders beat South St. Paul 7-0 at home May 18, and then edged out Eagan 4-3 on Monday, May 22, to advance to the sectional finals. The Raiders faced East Ridge on Wednesday, May 24.
Hastings managed a clean sweep of the Packers in their opening round. Senior Alec Rudh won first singles 6-1, 6-4; senior Brad Risch took second singles 6-1, 6-2; freshman Colby Zak beat his opponent in third singles 7-6, 6-0; and junior Grant Hollar completed the singles sweep with a 6-0, 6-0 victory.
Senior Luke Johnson and sophomore Carson Konrady won first doubles 6-2, 6-2; juniors Brandon Kurilla and Joe Zak edged out their second doubles opponents 6-3, 4-6, 6-3; and the combination of senior Reese Estabrook and sophomore Eric Howd finalized the team sweep with a 6-2, 6-4 win in third doubles.
It was a much closer affair against Eagan. The Raiders dropped the first two singles matches with Rudh losing 2-6, 0-6 and Risch being edged out 6-7, 6-2, 3-6. However, Colby Zak won 6-4, 6-1 and Hollar was victorious 7-6, 6-1 to tie the match.
Johnson and Konrady won first doubles 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, but Joe Zak and Kurilla lost second doubles 6-3, 0-6, 3-6. The entire match came down to third doubles with Estabrook and Howd bringing home the victory 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.
Hastings faces East Ridge in the sectional finals. The two teams met in the Raiders' first match of the season, which the Raptors won 6-1. Should Hastings win, they would advance to the state tournament which takes places June 6-9. Individual sections are May 25-26 and May 30.