REDWOOD FALLS -- Three Worthington entries and two from Luverne will play in the Section 3A individual boys tennis semifinals by virtue of their performances Thursday in the first two rounds.
Trojans Blaine Doeden and Sullivan Merrigan won two matches apiece in Redwood Falls, and teammates Kipton Jenson and Cade Lindner advanced in doubles competition. The Cardinals’ Matt Jelken (singles), along with Matt Sehr and Cole Stoltenberg (doubles) also moved on to semifinal play.
The individual semifinals and finals will be played again in Redwood Falls on Tuesday. Champions will advance to the Minnesota state Class A individual tournament June 6 at Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis. Luverne will play in the state team tournament beginning June 4.
Doeden, a senior hoping to qualify for a second straight state individual tournament berth, won his first match Thursday 6-0, 6-0 over Wylie Weibe of Lac qui Parle Valley. He also dominated his quarterfinal match 6-0, 6-0 over Pipestone Area’s Jackson Winter.
Winter won his opener 6-4, 6-0 against Heath Buer of Lac qui Parle Valley.
Merrigan, a junior, opened with a 6-0, 6-0 win against David Moreno of Montevideo. He then defeated Cade Baartman of Pipestone Area by a 6-2, 6-1 margin.
Baartman won his first match against Yellow Medicine East’s Ean Clarke 1-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Jelken eased to a 6-0, 6-0 triumph over Andrew Janssen of MACCRAY before beating his Luverne teammate, Graham Cunningham, 6-0, 6-1.
Cunningham won his first match 6-1, 6-2 against Tyler Syring of Yellow Medicine East.
In doubles, Worthington’s Kipton Jenson and Cade Lindner won their initial match 6-3, 6-1 over Redwood Valley’s Cameran Sommers and Josiah Hultquist. They then defeated Worthington teammates Ben Lopez and Ryan Newman by a 6-3, 7-5 score.
Lopez and Newman won their first match 6-0, 6-0 versus the Montevideo pair of Tyler Johnson and Tyler DeJong.
Luverne’s Matt Sehr and Cole Stoltenberg won 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 over Gabe Sparks and Anton Thissen of MACCRAY in their first match Thursday. They followed that up with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Dalton Pottratz and Riley Longstreet of Pipestone Area.
Pottratz and Longstreet won their opener 6-2, 7-5 against Jackson Torgerson and Brandon Beyer of Yellow Medicine East.
In the semifinals on Tuesday, Doeden will contend with Jelken. Merrigan will take on top-seeded Rikard Wilkens of Redwood Valley.
In doubles, Jenson and Lindner will play top-seeded Gavin Olson and Colton Husby of Lac qui Parle Valley in the semifinals. Sehr and Stoltenberg are matched against Owen Strunc and John VanRavenswaay of Montevideo.