Boys Tennis: In area match, Warriors tame Gobblers
Brainerd hosts Aitkin in boys tennis May 2
BRAINERD — Under the sun, for once, the Brainerd Warriors knocked off the Aitkin Gobblers 7-0 in a non-conference match Monday, May 2.
The win moves the Warriors to 6-6 overall. Brainerd sits atop the Central Lakes Conference standings with a 4-0 conference record.
“We are moving our way up,” Warriors head coach Ellen Fussy said. “We are playing some good teams. We played Becker twice, Elk River, Buffalo, Delano, so we are seeing good teams and I’d rather play good teams early to see how we stack up and see what we need to work on. We’ve grown with each match.”
Aitkin dropped to 1-9 and Gobblers head coach Jen Waldorf said she has five new varsity players this year.
“I’ve got a great group of guys that just loves to play tennis,” Waldorf said. “Win or lose the game score doesn’t show how well we played in the match. As inexperienced as we are with five new varsity guys, we just come out and do our best and the score will take care of the rest.”
Eli McConkey got things rolling for the Warriors with his 6-0, 6-0 win over Aitkin’s Josh Stanley at No. 3 singles.
At No. 4 singles, Aitkin’s Noland Nordberg was playing his first varsity match and lost to Brianerd’s Owen Robertson 6-0, 6-2.
“I mixed the lineup today and it seemed like more of the kids were having fun as I changed it up,” Waldorf said.
Fussy continues to be impressed with Matthew Moraghan, who’s coming off an injury in the winter, at No. 2 singles. Moraghan beat Ben Harris 6-2, 6-2.
“He just gets better and better,” Fussy said. “He was dealing with a broken foot over the winter and he just continues to be more solid.”
At No. 1 singles, Brainerd’s Beck Barber knocked off Aitkin’s Jamison St. Clair 6-1, 6-3.
“Jamison always gives it 110% effort in every match and I’m just proud of the guys,” Waldorf said. “They never give up on any shot.”
Brainerd’s No. 1 doubles team of Noah Madsen and Clark Haglin got the best of Blaise Sanford and Zander Peterson 6-2, 6-0. Will Aadland and George Campbell beat Joey Haasken and Wyatt Crowther 6-0, 6-3.
Karlton Anderson, who usually plays No. 1 doubles with Haglin, missed the match due to an AP chemistry test.
The Warriors’ No. 3 doubles team of Ben Karlgaard and Riley Pike made quick work of Josh Kokowsky and Joey Harmon 6-0, 6-0.
“I shook things up today because we were missing one of our key players so we had to shake it up a bit,” Fussy said. “I gave Owen Robertson, an eighth grader, a chance to see some varsity action and he did a nice job.”
Fussy said playing Aitkin was a nice warm-up match for her squad before playing a conference opponent in Alexandria and a Section 7-2A opponent in Duluth East Tuesday.
“We’ve used a lot of lineups and I’m still looking to get that one lineup that we feel is our solid lineup,” Fussy said. “Usually this late in the season, we aren’t still looking at lineups, but the way the weather hasn’t cooperated that’s what we are still doing and you just have to roll with it.”
For Aitkin, Waldorf says they’ll play anyone, as she is just trying to get her young team some experience.
“We just love to compete,” she said. “We’ll take anyone on because they have the mentality that if they play them again we can beat them next time. They love the game and having the opportunity to play.”
She hopes the weather stays nice so they get outside more and work on repetition.
“That’s what we are lacking in,” Waldorf said. “We can play one good point and have three or five bad points. If we can get some consistency I think we can be prime and ready for the playoffs.”
Brainerd 7, Aitkin 0
No. 1: Beck Barber (Brd) def. Jamison St. Clair 6-1, 6-3
No. 2: Matthew Morraghan (Brd) def. Ben Harris 6-2 ,6-2
No. 3: Eli McConkey (Brd) def. Josh Stanley 6-0, 6-0
No. 4: Owen Robertson (Brd) def. Noland Nordberg 6-0, 6-2
No. 1: Noah Madsen-Clark Haglin (Brd) def. Blaise Sanford-Zander Peterson 6-2, 6-0
No. 2: Will Aadland-George Campbell (Brd) def. Joey Haasken-Wyatt Crowther 6-0, 6-3
No. 3: Ben Karlgaard-Riley Pike (Brd) def. Josh Kukowski-Joey Harmon 6-0, 6-0
Brainerd 7, Aitkin 0
Key: Brainerd shakes up the lineup and gets a win over Aitkin.
Overall: Brd 6-6, Ait 1-9.
Next: Brainerd hosts Duluth East and Alexandria 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 3; Aitkin at St. Cloud Cathedral 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 3.
CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/the_rad34.