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Prep tennis: Worthington, Luverne advance to section semifinals

WORTHINGTON — It wasn’t exactly perfect, but Worthington accomplished what it set out to do Monday in the first round of the Section 3A Tournament.

Despite some roadblocks along the way, the third-seeded Trojans took a 6-1 win over No. 6 Redwood Valley to earn a trip to the semifinals. There, they’ll take on second-seeded Montevideo, which beat Yellow Medicine East 7-0 on Monday, at 1:30 p.m. today in Redwood Falls.

“We didn’t take care of business like I had hoped we would,” Trojans’ coach Mike Marquardt said. “We had some hiccups here and there because of the mental part of the game. We just couldn’t put them away in some cases. But, we were able to outlast them and get the win. I’m happy with how it ended, but we definitely still have some things to work on.”

That doesn’t mean Worthington was void of some highlights. Marquardt was particularly pleased with the play of first-doubles pair, Ben Doeden and Bryan Doeden, which took a convincing 6-0, 6-1 win.

On the singles’ side, he was happy with Jonah McDonald’s 6-3, 6-1 win over Nathan Benson at the No. 4 spot along with the way Nick Newman finished in his No. 3 singles win of 6-4, 7-5 at the third spot.

Andrew Johnson didn’t have any trouble at second singles, where he ran away with a 6-1, 6-0 win. Carter Linder completed the sweep in the solo portion of the competition when he came back from a 5-2 deficit in the second set against Tyler Hogan to take a 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) victory at the top singles position.

D.J. Berger and Sebastian Licea were solid at No. 3 doubles as well, taking down their opponents 6-1, 6-1.

The Trojans’ only loss came at No. 2 doubles, where Levi Blanchard and Isaac Houselog fell 6-0, 6-4 to Logan Dehncke and Nathan Passe.

If Worthington wins in the semis, it will play the winner of Luverne and Lac qui Parle Valley at 3 p.m. today for the conference title.

“We just need to take the best and leave the rest,” Marquardt said. “A big thing is just getting a good night’s rest and coming back ready to start fresh tomorrow.”

Luverne 7, MACCRAY 0

LUVERNE — The top-seeded Cardinals made their first step towards a Section 3A title Monday with a convincing shutout win over eighth-seeded MACCRAY.

With the victory, Luverne is set to face off with No. 5 LQPV at noon today after the Eagles took a 4-3 thriller over No. 4 Pipestone Area in their quarterfinal Monday.

“Once again our experience was the big difference in the match,” Cards’ coach Greg Antoine said. “We focused and just went out and played tennis like we know we can.”

Jonny Vajgrt and Erik Wohnoutka took sweeps at first and third singles, respectively, as each took wins of 6-0, 6-0. Andrew Jelken was nearly as impressive at the No. 2 spot, winning 6-1, 6-1. Jacob Jarchow took a win by forfeit for the perfect day on the singles side.

Blake Ziegler and Cory Stroeh won 6-0, 6-2 in their No. 1 doubles match. Toby Sengvongxay and Dalton Schoeneman won 6-0, 6-0 at the No. 3 spot with Hunter Robinson and Chris Jelken winning 6-1, 6-0 at second doubles.

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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