ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Boys Tennis: Tech turns tables on Warriors

Brainerd hosted St. Cloud Tech in a Central Lakes Conference match.

050921.S.BD.Tennis1.jpg
Brainerd's Jalen Emslander hits the ball against a St. Cloud Tech opponent Friday, May 7, 2021, at Brainerd High School. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

Ellen Fussy knew St. Cloud Tech would be a lot to handle the second time around.

The Tigers didn’t disappoint Fussy’s predictions as they outlasted the Brainerd Warriors for a 5-2 Central Lakes Conference victory Friday, May 7, at Brainerd High School.

Brainerd topped Tech in the first meeting April 28 by a 4-3 score. The only similar thing from the first meeting was a marathon match at No. 2 singles between Brainerd’s Matthew Maraghan and Tech’s Gavin Fenstad.

In their previous match, Moraghan rebounded to top Fenstad 2-6, 6-2, 6-2.

On Friday, Moraghan jumped out quickly against Fenstad, but faltered in the second set.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I don’t enjoy them, but you just have to keep fighting,” Moraghan said about his long match. “That first set I was really spinning the ball. I was playing very consistently and just winning a lot of points and causing him to make errors.

“The second set, I started hitting flatter and hitting more shots into the net. The score spoke for itself. I lost 6-1 and I wasn’t able to keep shots in play.”

PREVIOUS: Boys Tennis: Brainerd singles take down Tech in Warrior win
The third set went into a tiebreaker and the Warrior freshman outlasted Fenstad 7-6 (8).

“The most important step is recognizing what you were doing wrong so I just had to recognize that I wasn’t spinning it enough,” Moraghan said. “We played before really even so it was just about continuing to fight.

“It was really hard because you have a lot of nerves and the score situation got a little fuzzy, but I just wanted to keep playing my game. I didn’t want to let up in the pressure situation. I just wanted to keep going.”

The victory improved Moraghan’s season record to 10-6.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Matches like these give me a lot of confidence,” Moraghan said. “Especially with subsections coming in a few weeks. It just helps build your confidence and the next time you’re in a situation like this you know you can grind it out.”

Brainerd’s other victory came at No. 2 doubles where the junior tandem of Jalen Emslander and Noah Madsen rebounded from a first-set loss and defeated Ripley Gordan and Max Rud 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.

“We weren’t really going for a lot of lobs because we were trying to do some low cross courts and those weren’t really working because the guy at the net was really skilled up there,” Emslander said. “In the second set, we cut back and hit a lot more lobs and that helped a lot.”

Brainerd Boys Tennis vs St. Cloud Tech Gallery

In the first match up with Tech, Madsen played No. 3 singles and posted a straight-set victory. Emslander was teamed with Clark Haglin and those two suffered a 6-3, 6-4 loss to Gordan-Rud.

The adrenaline was pumping for Friday’s rematch and Brainerd had extra incentive to scrape out a win.

“We were pumped because that first match was close and our coach said Tech comes back strong so we had to come in clutch,” Madsen said. “Plus, Fussy said we would get pizza if we won again.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Emslander felt confident the Warriors could repeat their victory over Tech. Aside from a loss to Alexandria and the 4-3 match with Tech earlier all of Brainerd’s other conference wins have been by 7-0 scores, including a win at Willmar Thursday, May 6.

WILLMAR: Boys Tennis: Warriors roll to another 7-0 win
“This was highly important and I was a little concerned after our match (Thursday),” Fussy said. “We finished in under an hour and I told the boys to do some mental imagery last night about playing Tech because it wasn’t going to be the same match like it was against Willmar.”

Fussy had nothing bad to say about her team’s effort Friday.

The No. 1 doubles team of RJ Campbell came out gangbusters with a 6-0 first set win, but Tech battled back to take the second set and eventually the match.

Ben Boberg suffered a rare conference loss at No. 4 singles. His match went three sets just like Moraghans and the No. 2 doubles team.

“Matthew is so steady and he’s so confident that he doesn’t get rattled,” Fussy said. “If he’s winning 5-0 or losing 0-5 you’re not really sure. That’s why I appreciate that he gets in there and battles.

“At No. 4 singles, Ben Boberg, I have no complaints. He lost a tough three-set match, but he gets in there and battles every point. He works hard and he doesn’t give up.

“Our No. 1 doubles team lost in a tiebreaker the last time we saw Tech, too. I thought we were going to come out on top, but there are just those little tiny things that we need to tweak. We are inches away from getting that win at No. 1 doubles.

St. Cloud Tech 5, Warriors 2
Singles
No. 1: Michael Plumbon (Tech) def. Beck Barber 6-4, 6-2
No. 2: Matthew Moraghan (Brd) def. Gavin Fenstad 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (8)
No. 3: Emilio Estevez (Tech) def. Eli McConkey 6-2., 6-2
No. 4: Oludomuwn Agny (Tech) def. Ben Boberg 6-3, 3-6, 6-4

Doubles
No. 1: Ben Nelson-Andrew Plumbon (Tech) def. RJ Campbell-Karl Anderson 2-6, 6-0, 7-6 (8)
No. 2: Noah Madsen-Jalen Emslander (Brd) def. Ripley Gorden-Max Rud 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
No. 3: Ben Eryhck-Jonah Atkinson (Tech) def. Will Aadland-Clark Haglin 7-5, 6-1

JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 218-855-5856 or jeremy.millsop@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop.

Tech 5, Warriors 2

Key: Tech won three of the four singles matches and two doubles matches

Conference: Brd 6-2, SCT 6-2

Overall: Brd 7-8, SCT 7-7

Next: Brainerd hosts Moorhead, Hibbing 10 a.m. Saturday, May 8

050921.S.BD.Tennis2.jpg
Brainerd's Noah Madsen hits the ball against a St. Cloud Tech opponent Friday, May 7, 2021, at Brainerd High School. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

050921.S.BD.Tennis2.jpg
Brainerd's Noah Madsen hits the ball against a St. Cloud Tech opponent Friday, May 7, 2021, at Brainerd High School. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

050921.S.BD.Tennis2.jpg
Brainerd's Noah Madsen hits the ball against a St. Cloud Tech opponent Friday, May 7, 2021, at Brainerd High School. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

Covering the Brainerd lakes area sports scene for the past 23 years.
What To Read Next
The Central Lakes College Raiders hosted Hibbing Friday, Feb. 3.
The Central Lakes College Raiders hosted Gogebic Community College Friday, Feb. 3.
The league would launch in summer 2024 and is polling interest in possible host cities.
The Brainerd Warriors Sports Boosters meet most Thursdays during the school year.