State boys tennis: Doeden, Luverne players finally bow out
BY AARON HAGEN
MINNEAPOLIS -- Worthington’s Blaine Doeden and two Luverne doubles teams advanced to the second day of the boys state tennis tournament, where they were each defeated in consolation semifinal action on Friday.
Doeden lost his first-round match during Thursday’s opening day at the Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center, but won in the consolation bracket before being defeated Friday morning.
“As long as I’ve been coaching, I’ve never had anybody win a match at state,” WHS head coach Mike Marquardt said. “His hopes and dreams and goals just got higher and just lifted the entire team’s now with trying to do more. The drive is there, and I think everybody else on the team is very excited for what he was able to do and what we can possibly accomplish in the future.”
Luverne’s Cade VerSteeg and Trey Baustian lost their first-round match, but won in the consolation to advance to the semifinals. Teammates Luke Jarchow and Matt Jelken lost to the tournament’s No. 3 seed and received a bye in the consolation bracket. Both tandems were defeated Friday morning.
Luverne singles player Jim Erickson lost twice Thursday and saw his tournament come to an end.
Doeden played tough against New London-Spicer’s Josh Proehl in the first round Thursday morning.
“He started off with a bang and got good control, but I think Josh settled down a little bit,” Marquardt said. “It turned out to a great battle.”
Proehl won 6-4, 6-4.
“This is a good stepping stone,” Marquardt said. “He didn’t get totally sidetracked by losing the first round, and stayed composed and dug in and was really able to put it together the second match. That was an awesome turnaround.”
In the consolation bracket, Doeden took care of Minnewaska Area’s Carter LaMont, 6-3, 6-3.
“It’s kind of like a graduation, where you put in all this hard work and it’s a celebration to get there,” Marquardt said. “But then to still be gritty enough to say, ‘This is nice, but I want to do something here, not just to get there but to get to the next level.’”
Doeden then faced the tournament’s fourth seed, Arjun Goswitz from Minnehaha Academy, in Friday’s consolation bracket semifinals. Goswitz triumphed in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1.
Erickson played two tough matches, but came up short twice. He lost to Stewartville’s Thomas Chopp 7-6 (4), 6-2 in the opening round. He then lost 7-5, 6-4 to Peter Tomhave of Cloquet.
Jarchow and Jelken drew a tough opponent in the opening round, St. Paul Academy’s Duke Nguyen and Jeffrey Huang. The Cardinal pair took the first set before Nguyen and Huang won the last two 6-0, 6-0. It was the only set the SPA pair has dropped as they advanced to the semifinals.
“They won the first set, 6-4,” Antoine said. “They looked the best I’ve ever seen them play.”
Jarchow and Jelken then faced Thomas Eckel and Jonathan Onigkeit from Rochester Lourdes in Friday’s next round and were defeated by scores of 6-0, 6-4.
The Cardinal duo of VerSteeg and Baustian took a set in the first round, but lost to Travis Mudge and Dillon Vue of Mounds Park Academy, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
They then defeated St. Paul Academy and Summit School’s Brennan Keogh and Liam Lynch 7-6 (7), 4-6, 10-5. They faced Carter Anderson and Ryan Osborne from Hibbing in Friday’s semifinals of the consolation bracket and were outlasted in a 3-6, 6-2, 10-8 marathon.
“Cade and Trey played the other St. Paul Academy team and they beat them in three sets, they won 10-5 in the super tiebreaker,” Antoine said Thursday night.
Antoine believed Luverne’s success in the team competition helped propel the individual qualifiers. On Wednesday, the Cardinals lost 4-3 to Thief River Falls -- which finished second -- and then defeated Mounds Park Academy 4-3.
“This is only our second win ever,” Antoine said. “In Section 3, I don’t know that anybody has ever won up here. I think that’s the second win in the section. I talked to all the old coaches and nobody can remember Section 3 winning up here.”
In the consolation finals, St. Peter bested Luverne 4-3 as the final match on the court decided the outcome. Playing in a 10-point tiebreaker, the score was tied at 8-all before the St. Peter team took the final two points and the consolation title.
“The kids played really well. As a team, we just played well,” Antoine said. “The kids are holding their heads high; they are proud of what we did this year. I had a lot of coaches say, ‘You really gave St. Peter a run for their money, and you guys really played well this week.’ It’s kind of fun to hear that.”
One coach who was especially impressed was Marquardt.
“They have done just an outstanding job of representing us,” he said. “I just am absolutely floored and excited; they are just an all-around great team. I really appreciate the effort they put forth and still are putting forth. They represented us at the highest level, and that was awesome.”