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Boys tennis: Trojans sweep Pipestone Area

Worthington Trojan tennis player Pokwar Taw gets into position to return a shot in a doubles match Thursday with the Pipestone Arrows. (Tim Middagh / Daily Globe)

BY AARON HAGEN

Daily Globe

WORTHINGTON -- Sully Merrigan had a feeling his team had already sealed the victory.

“I figured, I saw some of the other courts,” he said. “I kind of knew.”

Merrigan, playing No. 3 singles for the Worthington tennis team, was the last match on the court in Thursday’s meet against Pipestone Area.

His 6-2, 7-5 victory over Jackson Winter sealed a sweep for the Trojans on a cold and windy day.

“In the first set, I was doing pretty good. But then the second set I started to not do so good on my serves. I ended up getting the win in the end,” Merrigan said. “I was hitting good ground strokes and getting a lot of spin on them. I was doing pretty good at the net. We had a lot of long rallies.”

It was the first victory on the year for WHS.

“I think it’s really good for the team to get a win today,” Worthington’s Blaine Doeden said. “We’ve played some real tough teams and I think it’s good to get a win and boost the spirits a little bit. I think it will help a lot of players get back in the swing of things.”

Doeden earned a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Tristen Pals at No. 1 singles.

“I played pretty well, it’s still the beginning of the season, so I’m still trying to build up and improve. I think I’m starting to come along in the season again. I think it’s looking pretty good,” Doeden said. “I’ve really been working on some approach game and getting to the net more. I was working with that a lot today. I think I’m really starting to improve on that. And just overall, really starting to get my game together and work the point out and finish well.”

At No. 2 singles, Worthington’s Leo Duarte defeated Rily Longstreet 6-0, 6-2.

“I think I did a good job,” said Duarte, who played doubles in the last meet. “My serves were on and so were my groundstrokes. The cold and wind was a little difficult, but after some shots, you get used to it. I enjoy singles. I find that it’s the right position for myself.”

Kipton Jenson won 6-2, 6-0 at No. 4 singles over Cade Baartman.

“I played pretty well, I guess. The person I was playing was a first-year tennis player, so that’s different. Moving him around the court was probably the best thing I did today,” Jenson said. “The wind definitely changes how the ball moves. We practice in it everyday, so we’re kind of used to it. Probably the wind (was worse), because once you’re playing, you get warmed up.”

At No. 1 doubles, Pokwar Taw and Brandon Harberts won 6-1, 6-3 over Noah Onken and Cole Onken.

“I thought I played really well, just a few mess ups here and there,” Harberts said. “I did pretty well today. I was just playing really well at the net and getting most of my serves in. It was a pretty solid day for me, I thought.”

Max Langerud and Cade Lindner won 6-3, 6-2 over Dalton Pottratz and Cole Zephier at No. 2 doubles, while the team of Ryan Newman and Carter Ponto won 6-1, 6-2 over Taylor Mollema and Cory Cooper at No. 3.

In exhibition matches, Worthington’s Lam Pham, Dom Apolo, Anwar Farra and Bobby Souwankham were all victorious.

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