Boys Tennis: Moraghan makes his way to state tourney
Three Brainerd Warriors competed in the Section 8-2A individual tennis tournament.
SARTELL — Matthew Moraghan is going to state.
The Brainerd Warrior freshman topped Becker’s Zach Bengtson 6-4, 7-6 (5) in the true-second match of the Section 8-2A individual finals Thursday, June 3, to advance to his first state tournament.
Moraghan put on a display of unflappability.
“Boy is he steady,” Warriors head coach Ellen Fussy said. “He really just played his game and didn’t let people take him off of his game.
“He is so intelligent. I go out to talk to him and ask him questions and he has all the answers. He’s really easy to coach because he figures things out himself. His tennis IQ is very high. He doesn’t let things get to him. He’s a true artisan of the game. He’s got his good solid strokes, but he finds ways to dictate play, which is really good and he also can change things up.”
Moraghan opened play with a 6-1, 6-1 defeat of Monticello’s Tyler Rousslang. He then ran into the eventual Section 8-2A singles champion Flippo Buffo of Bemidji to fall into the third-place match.
That’s where Moraghan dispatched St. Cloud Tech’s Emilio Esteves 6-4, 7-5 to force the true-second match with Bengtson.
“He just played really steady. He didn’t make many unforced errors. When that Tyler tried to use the power game a little more and Matthew just maintained and kept hitting it back. He didn’t have many unforced errors.
“Emilio wanted to just bang it too, but Matthew frustrates people because they would come to the net and Matthew has great passing shots so it’s hard for opponents. He’s just steady.”
Moraghan will enter the state tournament with a 19-12 record.
The Warriors doubles team of Beck Barber and RJ Campbell opened section play with a three-set victory over St. Cloud Tech. The dual fell to Alexandria’s Jacob Partington-Gannon Lueck in the semifinals and dropped a three-set match to Bemidji in the third-place match.
Quarterfinals: Matthew Moraghan (Brainerd) def. Tyler Rousslang (Monticello) 6-1, 6-1
Semifinals: Filippo Buffo (Bemidji) def. Moraghan 6-3, 6-2
Third-place: Moraghan def. Emilio Esteves (St. Cloud Tech) 6-1, 6-3
True Second: Moraghan def. Zach Bengtson (Becker) 6-4, 7-6 (5)
Quarterfinals: Beck Barber-RJ Campbell (Brainerd) vs. Andrew Plombom-Michael Plombom (St. Cloud Tech) 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
Semifinals: Jacob Partingon-Gannon Lueck (Alexandria) def. Barber-Campbell 6-1, 6-3
Third-place: Michael Dickinson-Logan Jensen (Bemidji) def. Barber-Campbell 3-6, 6-3, 6-1
Next: Brainerd in the Class 2A Individual State Tournament 8 a.m. Thursday, June 10, at Prior Lake High School.