Boys tennis: Doubles strategy nearly pays off for Worthington
WORTHINGTON -- The strategy was sound. And the execution of it almost paid off for the Worthington Trojans boys tennis team Friday night.Head coach Mike Marquardt elected to load up on doubles against visiting Lac qui Parle Valley, hoping his Tro...
WORTHINGTON - The strategy was sound. And the execution of it almost paid off for the Worthington Trojans boys tennis team Friday night.
Head coach Mike Marquardt elected to load up on doubles against visiting Lac qui Parle Valley, hoping his Trojans could sweep the three matches there and pick off one of the singles events. They did indeed win all three doubles matches, but the Eagles won all four of the singles en route to a 4-3 team win.
Laq qui Parle Valley led 3-2 with two marathon matches still on the court. The team win was finally decided at No. 4 singles when the Eagles’ Cody McKesson defeated the Trojans’ Max Langerud 6-7 (6-8), 6-0, 6-4. Several minutes later, just before 8 p.m., Worthington won the final match of the day at No. 2 doubles as Sebastian Licea and Gage Langerud beat Kain Matthies and Dalton Kostad 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4. Licea and Langerud rallied from a 2-3 deficit in the final set to win four of the last five games.
“We strengthened up on doubles. You’re looking at the singles, and you’re hoping to get one of the four,” Marquardt said later.
Although the Trojans couldn’t quite pull it off, he was impressed with the effort.
Lac qui Parle Valley senior Jess Hansen, a perennial state tournament competitor, had no problem with Worthington’s Jordan Jensen at No. 1 singles, winning 6-0, 6-0. At No. 2 singles, Eli Weber took care of the Trojans’ Brandon Harberts 6-0, 6-2. The Eagles’ Ryan Borstad won 6-3, 6-3 over Kyle Janssen at third singles.
At No. 1 doubles, Worthington brothers Bryan and Blaine Doeden teamed up to earn an impressive 6-2, 6-3 triumph over Trevor Sigdahl and Hunter Olson. It was an even performance throughout, though it was the first time this season that the Doedens played doubles together.
“It’s fun,” said Bryan, a senior. “It’s nice to play with my brother because we know each other’s tendencies. We really complement each other’s strengths. He’s got the really nice ground strokes and I’ve got the nice finishings that he can help set up.”
“I think Bryan and I play very well together,” said Blaine, a freshman. “We had some good chemistry going. He knows what shot I like to hit. One of the things I struggle with is finishing my point, but Bryan just kills it.”
In the other doubles match, Worthington’s Sullivan Merrigan and Kip Jenson beat Lac qui Parle Valley’s Conrad Matthies and Blake Buer 6-2, 6-4.
In exhibition matches, Worthington’s Smile Bu and Pokwar Taw, Cade Lindner and Scott Schneider, Carter Ponto and Ryan Newman, Caleb Schreiber and Dom Apollo, and Bobby Souwankham and Fernando Rodriguez won doubles matches. Lam Pham and Anwar Farra, Kaw Htoo and Isaac Garza, and Juan Guizar and Kevin Le were defeated.