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WHS tennis: Trojans show fight in season opener

WORTHINGTON -- It's still way too early to know what the Worthington tennis team is capable of, but after its first outing, head coach Mike Marquardt is happy with what he sees.

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Worthington's Blaine Doeden returns a volley from Montevideo's Riley Emery in Worthington on Tuesday. (Tim Middagh / Daily Globe)

WORTHINGTON -- It’s still way too early to know what the Worthington tennis team is capable of, but after its first outing, head coach Mike Marquardt is happy with what he sees.

“Score-wise it’s obviously not what we wanted, but there was good fight,” the coach said. “We have a couple of guys that are a little bit younger, but man, we’ve got some hitters. We’ve got some good talent that’s raw that unfortunately needs some hiccups to learn from and today was one of those hiccups.”

The Trojans fell to Montevideo 6-1 in their season opening match on Tuesday in Worthington, but the coach says there is a lot to build on after the first match.

“What it showed me today is that we’ve got a lot of pieces of the puzzle, we just have to finish some things. The short ball and finishing the point, I thought we did well. But it was just not consistent enough.”

Freshman Sully Merrigan was a prime example of Worthington’s fight on Monday in his 6-1, 7-5 loss to Henry Strunc at No. 3 singles. After things didn’t go his way in the first set, he responded in the second and really made Strunc work hard to beat him.

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“He never gave up,” Marquardt said. “He wasn’t getting the type of spin or power on the serves he was in the first set. And it made him a little more self-conscious in the second set and when you start thinking about yourself, now it’s two on one, you’ve got your opponent on you and you’ve got yourself on you. He worked through that and came up a little short, but he was with it the whole time.

The Trojans’ lone victory of the match came at No. 2 doubles, where Smile Bu and Pokwar Taw quickly defeated Calvin Anderson and Tyler Eull 6-1, 6-0.

Montevideo took the rest of the matches as Riley Emery defeated Blaine Doeden 6-1, 6-4 at No. 1 singles, Noah Stoeckman defeated Leo Duarte 6-4, 6-0 at No. 2 singles. Chris Erickson defeated Kipton Jensen 6-2, 6-2 at No. 4 singles. Brandon Johnson and Kaden Marly defeated Brandon Harberts and Kyle Janssen 6-4, 6-1. And Donovan Albers and Owen Strunc defeated Max Langerud and Cade Lindner 6-2, 7-6.

Related Topics: TENNIS
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