Boys Tennis: Tech denies Warriors a perfect season
St. Cloud Tech 5, Warriors 2
Key: Tech won three singles and two doubles matches
Conf: Brd 4-1, SCT 5-0
Overall: Brd 12-1, SCT 7-2
Next: Brainerd at Bemidji 4 p.m. Monday
A phrase thrown around the Brainerd Warriors' tennis program is, "Pressure is a Privilege."
It means you have an opportunity to seize something special.
Brainerd missed its opportunity for something special Friday in Brainerd.
With matching 4-0 Central Lakes Conference records heading into Friday's dual, the Warriors had their eyes set on knocking off perennial power St. Cloud Tech.
Tech had other plans as the Tigers handed Brainerd its first loss of the season 5-2.
"Tech has a nice team," said Warriors head coach Bruce Thompson. "We have a nice team, too, but we had some spots where we didn't play well and I'm very disappointed in our effort. My disappointment is in the fact we didn't step up and we could have. We made some decisions that weren't very good and that kind of falls on me, too."
Brainerd's lone singles victory came from No. 1 Tanner Lundberg. The junior dispatched Nate Jordre 6-1, 6-4 to improve his personal record to 13-0.
"I was a little bit more aggressive in that first set and finished some points off," said Lundberg. "In the second set, I had a little lapse where I was hitting the ball short and he got to be the aggressor and I wasn't being as aggressive."
Jordre attacked the net more in the second set and tried to finish the points off faster than Lundberg was expecting. The defending Section 8-2A champion adjusted, however.
"I was just working on being able to stay in the point and when I get a short one attack it and put the point away," said Lundberg. "I felt I did a good job of that. When I was on the defensive, I just tried to get the ball back and then if he left me a short one I would attack it and put it away."
The No. 2 doubles duo of Garrett Goeden-Nathan Rud opened with a 6-1 first-set win, but had to rally in the second set. Down 6-5, Goeden-Rud tied the score and then powered through the tiebreaker 7-1 for Brainerd's only other point.
Brainerd's No. 3 doubles team opened with a 6-4 win, but Tech's Nate Trewick-Grant Martin rallied to win the next two sets 6-2, 6-0.
Tech captured every other match in straight sets to put a vice grip on another conference title.
"Certainly we have to work harder," said Thompson. "Certainly we have to gain some poise. I don't think we had very good poise in a number of our matches. We got tight.
"We are capable of playing with them, but you can't think. You just have to make quick decisions right away. I don't think we did that very well today. Part of it is we were under some pressure today and we didn't handle it very well."
Along with grabbing the conference lead, Tech will likely earn the No. 1 seed in the subsection tournament. Should Brainerd win out the rest of the season, it would get the No. 2 seed.
More pressing was the fact that Friday's loss gives Tech a 13-match winning streak over the Warriors by a combined score of 75-16. Brainerd last beat Tech in 2009 when it was the Section 8-2A runner-up and finished 15-2.
"We wanted this one really bad," said Lundberg. "Every time we play Tech we want to beat them."
Junior varsity winners for Brainerd were Kennan Hodge in singles and Tanner Clink-Ian Aadland and Matt Hintz-Oliver Knudson in doubles.
St. Cloud Tech 5, Brainerd 2
No. 1: Tanner Lundberg (Brd) def. Nate Jorde 6-1, 6-4
No. 2: Eric Inderieden (SCT) def. Patrick Meyer 6-2, 6-3
No. 3: Richard Simring (SCT) def. Jacob Hodge 6-1, 6-1
No. 4: Troy Feddema (SCT) def. Patrick Moraghan 6-1, 6-2
No. 1: Nick Portz-Scott Kippley (SCT) def. Travis Goeden-Steven Low 6-4, 6-3
No. 2: Garrett Goeden-Nathan Rud (Brd) def. Kevin Heller-Steven Miller 6-1, 7-6 (7-1)
No. 3: Nate Trewick-Grant Martin (SCT) def. Dylan McLain-Theo Knudson 4-6, 6-2, 6-0