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Boys tennis: WHS brings experience into 2018 season

WORTHINGTON -- The mental part of tennis is often talked about, but rarely over-emphasized. Many a capable player has looked good on the court without much to show for strong serves and smooth ground strokes. The inner game -- confidence -- is th...

4112125+Trojans Boys Tennis Letter winners web.jpg
Trojans tennis veterans for 2018 include (front, from left) Cade Lindner, Kipton Jenson, Ryan Newman, Max Langerud, (back row) Kyle Janssen, Sully Merrigan, Carter Ponto and Blaine Doeden. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

 

WORTHINGTON -- The mental part of tennis is often talked about, but rarely over-emphasized.

Many a capable player has looked good on the court without much to show for strong serves and smooth ground strokes. The inner game -- confidence -- is the statistic that doesn’t show up on the scorecard.

Worthington High School boys tennis coach Mike Marquardt is hoping a veteran team will translate into more confidence -- and more victories -- for the Trojans in 2018. The veteran mentor believes he’s got a solid stable of singles players ready to win when the team opens the regular season Tuesday in Montevideo.

“We’ve got a lot of returners. Got a lot of experience. We were able to finish fourth last year for the section, and we can really build on that,” said Marquardt.

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Getting the doubles teams organized into a well-oiled machine will take a little more time. But the singles players constitute a promising lot.

The team begins with Blaine Doeden, a dedicated tennis player who figures to open at No. 1 singles. Marquardt maintains that Doeden, who has good groundstrokes, can be a consistent winner with another year of confidence-building.

“I think he’s going to have an incredible year. The confidence level -- he’s been playing a lot in the summer,” said his coach.

Sully Merrigan, a No. 3 singles player last season, is ready to make the move up to No. 2. Another player with good groundstrokes, Merrigan also has a good power game.

Pokwar Taw will start at No. 3 singles after playing first doubles last season. Marquardt is looking forward to seeing Taw, who has outstanding quickness, transition from having multiple playing partners to playing singly.

No. 4 singles appears to be the spot for Kyle Janssen, who played some No. 2 singles last year. Consistent, with a good mental game, Marquardt believes Janssen’s experience can help him be successful.

Other players to watch include Cade Lindner, Kipton Jenson, Ryan Newman, Max Langerud and Carter Ponto.

Overall, Marquardt is confident that an improved approach to tennis will help the Trojans win close matches that they lost last year.

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Of course, the real test comes on the courts.

“I think they just have a good vibe,” Marquardt said. “Just with the level of competition around us, they know they’re there.”

Related Topics: BOYS TENNIS
Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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