Park boys tennis: Wolfpack tops Simley, falls to HastingsLast week, the Park boys tennis team showed steady improvement. After falling 6-1 to Hastings, the team rallied for a 4-3 victory against Simley later in the week.
By: Teresa Townsend, South Washington County Bulletin
Last week, the Park boys tennis team showed steady improvement. After falling 6-1 to Hastings, the team rallied for a 4-3 victory against Simley later in the week.
The Wolfpack (2-2) competed hard against Suburban East Conference opponent Hastings on April 17, but needed more mental toughness and consistency to find a team win. No. 1 doubles team Mekdim DeJene and junior Jacob Elliott won Park’s only match of the day 6-4, 6-4.
“They outplayed their opponents by being able to create more offensive positions and finishing off points effectively,” said Park head coach Tony Townsend.
Tight matches in singles and doubles gave a taste of the success ’Pack would see later in the week. Doubles team sophomore Pele Le and junior Alec Strauss took their opponents to a third set. After falling 3-6 in the first set, the team pulled together for a 6-3 win in the second, only to fall 3-6 in the third.
“They did a great job of transitioning to the net and putting away volleys during the second set,” Townsend said. “ Their level of play slipped in the third set which allowed Hastings to close out the match.”
Sophomore Sam Forthun lost 4-6, 3-6 at three singles.
“He played more confident during this match by being able to decrease his unforced errors and staying in more points,” Townsend said.
In its second match of the week, the Wolfpack stepped onto the courts ready to improve upon their performance against Hastings and defeated Simley 4-3 on April 20.
“We played our best match of the season on Friday . . . We lost to Simley last year 5-2, so we knew we had to play our best tennis,” Townsend said.
The ’Pack pulled through, winning at four singles and sweeping the Spartans in doubles. Le wore his opponent down for a decisive 6-1, 6-1 victory at fourth singles.
“He did a great job of controlling the baseline and then attacking at the right time as his opponent was out of position,” said Townsend.
The doubles teams dominated play against the Spartans.
“We served and returned exceptionally well along with attacking the middle and finishing off points. We played with more intensity during this match which allowed us to attack more effectively,” Townsend said.
No. 1 doubles team DeJene and Elliot won 6-0, 6-2, second doubles team junior Lucas Lindstrom and senior Alex Rachner won 6-0, 6-4, and third doubles team junior Charlie Link and Strauss won 6-0, 6-1.
Park played Bloomington Kennedy and conference opponent Stillwater after the Bulletin went to press. They play at Richfield at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday and will play at home against Forest Lake at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.