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Tough Start To Season For PL Netters

By Tom Schardin, 05/01/23, 9:15PM CDT


It’s been a tough start to the season for the Prior Lake boys tennis team.

The Lakers have dropped eight of their first nine matches, including two in a triangular match April 25 at Shakopee. Prior Lake fell 6-1 to both Alexandria and the host Sabers.

The Lakers went into the match off a 6-1 home loss to Chanhassen April 24 and a 6-1 setback at Apple Valley in South Suburban Conference action April 18.

Prior Lake’s one victory is 6-1 over Chaska back on April 13.

The Lakers went 5-4 in the SSC last year (9-7 overall), but is off to an 0-4 start in conference play this spring.

In the win over Chaska, Prior Lake won three of four singles matches. Junior Luke Jacobson won at the No. 1 spot (6-2, 6-0), while senior Jack Artang rolled at No. 2 (6-1, 6-2) and senior Soren Featherstone was victorious at No. 3 (6-4, 6-2).

The Lakers swept all three doubles matches. Seniors Colin Witt and Ian Hansen won at the top spot (6-2, 6-0), followed by senior Nick Scheffert and ninth grader Tarun Gopi at No. 2 (2-6, 6-2, 10-7) and sophomores Adam Greengrass and Lucas Aidas at No. 3 (6-3, 6-1).

In the loss to Chanhassen, Prior Lake’s lone win came at No. 3 doubles where Greengrass and Aidas won in straight sets (6-3, 6-2). Against Apple Valley, the Lakers’ win came at No. 1 doubles with Hansen and Witt winning (6-1, 6-1).

At the triangular, Witt and Hansen also picked up both wins for the Lakers, winning at No. 1 doubles against both Shakopee (6-4, 6-4) and Alexandria (6-1, 6-2).

Witt and Hansen have a 5-3 record at No. 1 doubles through the team’s first nine matches.

The Section 2AA team tournament is not far off. It will start May 16 with the first round, while the title match is set for May 23 at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter.

The Lakers lost in the Section 2AA semifinals last year, falling 5-2 to Minnetonka. It was the sixth straight season Prior Lake has lost in the semifinals, not including 2020 when there was no season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eden Prairie is the defending champion, but Minnetonka is the only team currently ranked in the field at No. 4. Shakopee, Chanhassen, Chaska, Hutchinson, Mankato West, Mankato East, Mound Westonka, New Prague, New Ulm, Waconia and Worthington are also in the field.

The section singles and doubles tournaments follow the team tourney.

This year’s Class AA state tourney is June 6-9 at the Baseline Tennis Center in Minneapolis. The team tourney is the first two days, followed by the singled and doubles tourneys.

Orono is the defending champion, beating Edina 4-3 in last year’s title match.