Trojans boys tennis improving, dropped match to Waseca

Ian Barber won the first singles matchup in three sets. Evan Hansberger pushed the third singles match to three sets, as did third doubles duo of Oziel Briones and Caleb Barber.

Tennis ball and racket stock art. (Ben Hershey / Unsplash)
Ben Hershey / Unsplash

WORTHINGTON — The Worthington Trojans boys tennis team lost 6-1 on an overcast Thursday to Waseca.

Ian Barber was the lone Trojan to finish with a victory, but WHS tennis head coach Mike Marquardt saw several improvements made to his young tennis team’s foundation.

Barber played Waseca’s Tyler Jellum in the first singles match and after winning the first set 6-0, he moved away from his strength of finishing points emphatically, and instead challenged Jellum to beat him with shots of his own.

Jellum did just that and gritted his way to a second set victory 4-6 and pushed the WHS junior into a third set.

Barber showed great short term memory and moved past a second set to forget and won the third by a score of 6-0.


An ever-improving first serve was something that stuck out to Marquardt but he still would like to see serves get better and consistent.

“(We) really wanted to switch, get more first serves in than second serves. Today that got closer (but) we are still relying on too many second serves,” said Marquardt. “Your job in tennis is to win your serve (which) is hard to do when you are always using your backup. … Being able to play longer points, we proved that today, and I am very happy with that today. We stayed in and didn’t go for broke on shots we shouldn’t — very happy with that.”

The Trojans played better than the final score indicates. WHS senior Ezra Bonnett pushed his second set loss into a tie breaker. He lost his second singles match 6-3, 7-6 (4) to Henry Huttemier.

At third singles, Evan Hansberger took Waseca’s Otto Schoenrock to three hard-fought sets. Hansberger and Schoenrock had several points decided after 10-plus rallies on each side of the net. Hansberger dropped the third set and Schoenrock earned a victory by scores of 6-7 (8), 6-0, 10-6.

In the final singles matchup, Armaan Bhatti topped Bennett Oberloh by scores of 6-2, 6-3.

In the doubles matchups, a lack of communication between partners sunk the WHS team, early and often.

“Communication broke down with the doubles. I want that to tweak a little bit more,” said Marquardt. “We can’t start off and give the other team a first set and expect to try and win the match after that. We have to definitely tweak it there.”

Jacari Jellum and Oliver Rohwer defeated Victory Bu and Dylan Dykstra 6-0, 6-0 at first doubles. Dominic Grunzke and Jan Schoen topped their second doubles opponents Lance Gordon and Kaw Tha Blay 6-0, 7-5.


Ahmed Farooq and Corbin Connors topped Oziel Briones and Caleb Barber 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.

The Trojans team is young and many of the members have not had a lot of varsity matches before this season.

“At practice they look really good and they seem that they have that — but here they are afraid to make a mistake,” said Marquardt. “If I could do anything it would be to erase that, the fear of making a mistake. You are going to make a mistake, you are going to hit a ball out. I would rather have the ball out over the net than in the net. Small baby steps like that, getting longer rallies, keeping everything on their side of the court — it will come but they have got to hit (and gain experience).”

The Trojans will play Big South Conference opponent Pipestone Area on Friday.

Dominic Burns is a reporter at the Globe who covers general news and sports.
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