After a one-week postponement due to the weather and while battling illness bugs, the Cambridge-Isanti boys tennis team got in its Bluejacket Invite on Saturday, with North Branch and Cloquet coming to town. The Jackets split their matches, opening with a 5-2 win over the Vikings.
“Even though we were still down one player due to illness– resulting in player shifts– we were excited to get our first win of this bizarre season,” remarked C-I Coach Thea Lowman.
The C-I doubles pairings only gave up seven games in sweeping their matches. At No. 1, Josh Fredlund & Derek Belford were first off the court with a 6-0, 6-0 victory. Carlo Holmberg & Jay Gislason took their No. 2 Doubles sets 6-0, 6-3. At No. 3, it was Winston Waligora & Sam Walz teaming for a 6-2, 6-2 win.
At Singles, Rafi Hernando took his No. 3 match 6-2, 6-2. Jed Bingham held on for a 6-3, 7-5 win at No. 4. At No. 2, Thomas Phillips won the first set 6-3 before falling 10-5 in the super tie-break. Filling in at No. 1, Destin Modina had good stretches of play while taking six games in the two-set loss.
• In the next round, Cloquet prevailed 6-1, but the Bluejackets had several tight matches against the Lumberjacks. Waligora & Walz posted the team’s win by rallying for a 4-6, 6-3, 10-6 match at No. 3 Doubles.
Holmberg & Gislason at No. 2 battled through three tight sets before Cloquet won 6-4, 5-7, 10-7. At No. 3 Singles, Phillips pushed his Lumberjack foe to the tie-break which finished 10-3.
“Rafael Hernando also played strongly from the baseline in his No. 4 Singles match but fell short of pulling off the point for us, dropping the match 4-6, 3-6,” said Coach Lowman. “As this group of guys gains more varsity experience, we look to pull out more of these close matches.”
In the other match of the day, Cloquet beat North Branch 7-0.
Knights finish sweep
Due to how the weather messed with the early-season schedule, the Bluejackets ran into Mississippi 8 favorite St. Michael-Albertville twice before seeing any other conference foe. As in the season-opener, the Knights swept the April 26 match 7-0. Bluejacket highlights were Holmberg & Gislason taking eight games at No. 2 Doubles, and Phillips winning six games at No. 3 Singles.
• In more M-8 action April 30, Monticello defeated the C-I boys 6-1. Coach Lowman: “An impressive 6-4, 6-1 win for Thomas Phillips at No. 3 singles. He displayed patience in his first set, pulling out points after extended rallies. He used the momentum from taking that first set to get an early lead in the second and then only allowed his opponent to take one game off him that set.
“Jay Gislason also played a close match at No. 4 singles. After dropping the first set 2-6, he got more comfortable on the court and started being more patient in his points. Jay shifted the match momentum his direction part way through the second set, but he didn’t have enough time to catch his opponent.”