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State tennis: WHS, Luverne duos ousted

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MINNEAPOLIS -- State tournament tennis has not often been kind to Section 3A. And it wasn't kind on Thursday.

The area's two doubles teams -- Carter Lindner and Andrew Johnson of Worthington and Joey and Jonny Vajgrt of Luverne were beaten and eliminated at the Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis.

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Lindner and Johnson were bested Thursday morning in their first round match by Tucker Sjoblad and Austin Wong of Breck School, 6-1, 6-0. In an afternoon consolation bracket match, they were defeated 1-6, 6-0, (10-4) by Jason Burns and Sam Rausch of Fergus Falls.

The Vajgrt brothers took it on the chin 6-4, 6-2 in their opener against Alan Schembri-Wismayer and Nico Villarraga of Rochester Lourdes. Then in the consolation round, they wound up on the losing end of a 6-4, 6-1 match against Matt Henneman and Nick Ozolins of St. Paul Academy and Summit.

Thus ends the season for both doubles teams. Luverne lost a pair of matches in the team portion of the tournament on Tuesday.

LHS head coach Greg Antoine said both of the Vajgrt matches Thursday were similar.

"We hung with them both matches, just couldn't get on top and switch the pressure to them," he said.

He described the Lourdes duo as consistent hard-hitters. The St. Paul Academy and Summit pair "just pounded the ball," he said. To deal with the power of Henneman and Ozolins the Vajgrts adjusted their court coverage. Instead of sticking with the typical strategy of having one player near the net and the other deeper on the court, they went to a two-back setup.

It didn't work.

Joey and Jonny Vajgrt, Antoine said, are themselves considered hard hitters in Section 3A. But at the state level they more than meet their match.

"Around here, they're considered power hitters. When we get up here (at state), there's a new definition of power hitters," he said.

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