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Boys tennis: Trojans edge New Ulm, Luverne rolls

ZACH HACKER/DAILY GLOBE Worthington No. 1 singles player Andrew Johnson goes up for an overhanded return Monday during the Trojans’ 4-3 nonconference tennis win over New Ulm.


WORTHINGTON — Carter Lindner doesn’t get too worked up when his team’s fate is resting on his shoulders. After all, he’s been there before.

Worthington’s nonconference match against New Ulm was knotted at 3-3 Monday with just one contest yet to be finished. Luckily for the Trojans, in their corner was senior Carter Lindner.

“I try not to think about,” Lindner said. “The pressure doesn’t really get to me. I’ve been playing varsity tennis since eighth grade so I have a lot of experience. That helps a lot when I get into tight matches when it counts.”

After splitting the first two sets, Lindner took a convincing 6-2 victory in the rubber match to take the win and give Worthington a 4-3 victory.

It was a strong bounce back for him as well as the team.

Lindner won his first set 6-1 but saw his opponent pick up steam to keep him on his heels in the second. The result was a 6-2 loss, sending the match into a third and deciding set.

“In the first set my serve was going well,” he said. “I wasn’t pushing the ball or thinking about it too much. In the second set he started to improve and get to some of the balls he wasn’t in the first. My serve wasn’t as good either; and my serve is my foundation.”

His win in the third set capped a comeback victory for the team. New Ulm took a win of 6-3, 6-0 over Jonah McDonald in the third singles match before Levi Blanchard dropped a 6-1, 6-2 decision at No. 4 singles to put the Trojans in a 2-0 hole. They finally got on the board, however, when Andrew Johnson — who made the move from the second to first singles spot — finished off a 6-3, 6-1 win.

The plot thickened when the No. 1 doubles pairing of Bryan Doeden and Ben Doeden finished off a 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 win to tie it. Worthington took its first lead just a few minutes later when Isaac Houselog and Nick Newman won 6-4, 6-4 in the second doubles spot.

It ended up coming down to the final match, however, when D.J. Berger and Orissa Nitibhon dropped a heartbreaker at No. 3 doubles. The Worthington pair won the first set 6-1 but fell 6-4 in the second. The third was a back-and-forth marathon that wasn’t decided until New Ulm picked up a 9-7 advantage in the tiebreaker.

Lindner didn’t crack under pressure; and the Trojans finished off their seventh win of the season in 10 tries.

“It was good to regain some of our momentum,” the senior said. “We want to get as much momentum and confidence as we can going into our postseason.”

Luverne 7, Montevideo 0

LUVERNE — Only one match went to three sets Monday as Luverne continued to roll with a 7-0 shutout win Montevideo.

“We played with great intensity at every position,” Cardinals coach Greg Antoine said.

Jonny Vajgrt defeated Jesse Erickson 6-0, 6-3 at first singles with Andrew Jelken and Jacob Jarchow winning 6-4, 6-3 and 6-0, 6-1 at No. 2 and No. 4 singles, respectively. Erik Wohnoutka recovered from a 7-5 loss in the first set at third singles to win the next two 6-4, 6-1 to sweep the solos.

Blake Ziegler and Cory Stroeh won 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1 doubles and the pairing of Hunter Robinson and Chris Jelken didn’t allow a point at second doubles. Toby Sengvongxay and Dalton Schoeneman won 6-1, 7-5 and the sweep was complete.

Zach Hacker

Zach is the Daily Globe sports reporter. He has previously been a sports editor at both the Waseca County News in Waseca, Minn., and The Emporia Gazette in Emporia, Kansas. He is originally from New Richland, Minn., and now lives in Worthington with his dog; a beagle-corgi mix named Homer. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family and friends, pontooning on St. Olaf Lake and watching professional and collegiate sports.

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