Park boys tennis: Wolfpack goes 2-2 in last four matchesThe Park boys tennis team went 2-2 in its four matches last week.
By: Teresa Townsend, South Washington County Bulletin
The Park boys tennis team went 2-2 in its four matches last week.
The Wolfpack picked up convincing wins against Bloomington Kennedy and Richfield but came up short against Suburban East Conference opponents Stillwater and Forest Lake.
Park’s confidence and enthusiasm helped them sail to a 7-0 victory against Bloomington Kennedy on April 23.
“The team played exceptionally well,” said Park head coach Tony Townsend. “We out-executed them in all facets of the game. We controlled the match from start to finish.”
The Wolfpack was unable to keep the momentum going through their match against Stillwater, however. Falling by a 4-3 score, Park nearly saw a huge team win happen against the Ponies. Victories came from sophomore Pele Le, and doubles players freshman Mekdim DeJene, junior Jacob Elliott, junior Charlie Link, and junior Alec Strauss.
Le won 6-1, 6-2 in an easy two-set match. No. 1 doubles duo DeJene and Elliott saw a similar match, winning 6-0, 6-2. A three-setter at third doubles gave Park their final point. After losing the first set in a tiebreaker, Link and Strauss rallied for a 6-1 victory in the second. The Ponies fought back, but after another tiebreaker, Park found a 7-6 win in the third set. A second three-set match almost gave Park a winning fourth point, but No. 2 doubles pair of senior Alex Rachner and junior Lucas Lindstrom lost 3-6, 7-5, 3-6.
“They played well throughout the match, but had difficulty closing out the third set,” Townsend said.
The Wolfpack rebounded from their tough loss for a 7-0 victory against Richfield the next day.
“We were more consistent than Richfield and outplayed them by being more aggressive and smarter in singles and doubles,” said Townsend.
Sophomore Michael Nguyen stepped up to play third doubles with junior David Link. The pair won a tight 7-5, 7-5 match to bring the Pack a shut-out victory.
Park saw another near-win later in the week against Forest Lake. The Wolfpack swept Forest Lake in doubles and looked for their fourth team point from Le at No. 4 singles. A strong first set put him ahead 6-2, but he came up short in a tiebreaker for the second. Le fell 7-5 in a tight third set.
“It was a great match that could have gone either way,” said Townsend. “I told my players that this match will help us in the future and to focus on the positives. We need to approach this loss as a learning experience, which will allow us to grow into a stronger team as the year progresses.”
Park played conference opponents Woodbury and Mounds View after the Bulletin went to press. They play at Tartan today, at Roseville on Thursday, and at home against St. Paul Como Park on Friday.