After rain pushed the opening round of the Section 7AA Team boys tennis tourney to May 22, South No. 4 seed Andover advanced with a 6-1 win over Cambridge-Isanti.
The Bluejackets’ match win came at No. 2 Doubles where Derek Belford and Devin Gislason prevailed 6-3, 6-0. A tight match at No. 3 Doubles went the Huskies’ way when C-I’s Jed Bingham and Sam Walz were clipped 4-6, 6-3, 10-7. The Huskies gave up just one game in the four singles matches.
The next day, the Bluejackets travelled to St. Francis for the 7AA South Individuals. Senior Josh Fredlund and Belford paired as the 7th seeded doubles team and opened with a 6-0, 6-0 win over the Saints’ Swanson & Bruner. The Bluejackets were then defeated by No. 2 seed Johnson & Jones of Andover in the next round.
Gaining experience at the South subsections were C-I youngsters Rafael Hernando (6-1, 6-3 loss to Andover’s Leisner), Destin Modina (6-4, 3-6, 6-2 loss to Forest Lake’s Burk), and the doubles duo of Carlo Holmberg & Gislason (6-0, 6-1 loss to Chisago Lakes’ Lizotte & Gillach).
• Elk River went on to defend its Section 7AA Team championship by downing Chisago Lakes 6-1 in the May 28 championship in Hibbing. The Elks swept Grand Rapids 7-0 in the semis, while the Wildcats defeated Duluth East 6-1 in their semifinal pairing. The Elks are the defending AA State champs.
The 7AA Singles & Doubles tourneys wrapped up May 29 in Hibbing. Forest Lake’s Toby Boyer and Elk River’s Josh Gearou finished 1st and 2nd in 7AA Singles to advance to State.
• The Bluejackets got in a final Mississippi 8 match May 24 against Buffalo which the Bison won 7-0. Buffalo finished as conference champions after giving up just two points all season (those to runner-up St. Michael-Albertville).
Bluejacket coach Thea Lowman wrapped up the season with an optimistic look to the future of boys tennis in town.
“The great growth of individual players and therefore the team collectively has been obvious the last couple weeks of the season. The talent and potential of this young squad is exciting to see as a coach,” she noted. “The combination of their strong skills and love of playing and pushing each other on the court are a great formula for a deep team and future success. They have been wonderful to work with this season, and I’m excited to see them fulfill their potential!”
Mississippi Boys Tennis
FINAL: Buffalo 10-0, 15-7; St. Michael-Alb. 8-2, 12-3; Rogers 6-4, 8-10; Monticello 3-7, 7-12; Big Lake 2-8, 5-9; Cambridge-Isanti 1-8, 4-12.