Boys Tennis: Warriors advance to semis after win over Chisago Lakes

Brainerd hosts Chisago Lakes in the Section 7-2A Quarterfinals May 24

Coach and player talking at tennis
Brainerd Warriors boys tennis coach Ellen Fussy talks with No. 3 singles player Eli McConkey between sets Tuesday, May 24, 2022, at the Brainerd High School tennis courts.
Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

BRAINERD — It was all Brainerd in the Section 7-2A Quarterfinals Tuesday, May 24.

The No. 3 seeded Warriors knocked off No. 6 Chisago Lakes 6-1 to advance to the section semis next Tuesday, May 31.

Beck Barber started the good tennis for the Warriors by not dropping a game in hisNo. 1 singles win 6-0, 6-0.

Barber will get a chance to play before the Warriors semifinals match next week as he is in the Section 7-2A Individual Semifinals which are set for Thursday.

“I’ve just been on a roll and feeling good,” Barber said. “I wasn’t getting in my head which helps a lot. I’m very confident. I feel like I’m at the peak of my season.”


Warriors head coach Ellen Fussy has liked how her No. 1 singles player and senior has matured this year.

“Beck has really grown his game the last couple of weeks,” Fussy said. “Earlier in the season, I think he wanted to play bang-up tennis, but he came up against some people who we call backboard players and they just want to keep the ball in play and Beck did a good job of not overhitting today and he’s going to see someone on Thursday who is not a big-ball hitter, and Beck knows that has to be his strategy.”

The Warriors swept the singles matches with Matthew Moraghan winning 6-3, 6-0 at No. 2 singles and Eli McConkey nabbing a 6-0, 6-2 win at No. 3 singles.

Brainerd clinched the match when the No. 1 doubles team of Noah Madsen and Karlton Anderson won 6-3, 6-3.

“Top to bottom everyone played really well,” Fussy said. “I knew Chisago Lakes would battle hard and try to steal the win from us, but our kids were playing loose and feeling good. They had their game faces on and I felt they would come out and perform and they’ve gotten better each match which makes the coach very happy.”

The No. 3 doubles team of Riley Pike and Ben Karlgaard battled to win 7-5, 6-4. Brainerd’s Jalen Emslander at No. 4 singles came back after losing the first set 5-7 to win the second set 6-0 and super tiebreaker 11-9.

“He battled hard after being up 4-1 in that first set,” Fussy said. “He changed up his strategy and executed well. Then our No. 3 doubles executed well. They were down 4-1 and came back and won in the second set.”

The Warriors will play Elk River in the semifinals at Blaine High School. Brainerd lost to Elk River in the regular season, but had close matches.


“I’m just trying to enjoy every last bit of it,” Barber said. “Last time we played (Elk River) we had three close matches and mine was close too and if everyone can finish up on their courts we should be able to take them.”

If the Warriors beat Elk River, the Section 7-2A Final would be right after at 2 p.m. at Blaine.

“I think we have to play strong all across the board,” Fussy said. “We have to make great shot selection and get on them early because those Elk River boys have played a lot of tennis.”

Brainerd 6, Chisago Lakes 1


No. 1: Beck Barber (Brd) def. Jack Hansen 6-0, 6-0

No. 2: Matthew Moraghan (Brd) def. Bria Bulds 6-3, 6-0

No. 3: Eli McConkey (Brd) def. Collin Dunleavy 6-0, 6-2

No. 4: Jalen Emslander (Brd) def. Will Walker 5-7, 6-0, 11-9


No. 1: Noah Madsen-Karl Anderson (Brd) def. Gavin Milchelek-Abe Olson 6-3, 6-3

No. 2: Jacob Peterson-Rhivers Sauer (CL) def. Clark Haglin-Will Aadland 4-6, 6-3, 11-9

No. 3: Riley Pike-Ben Karlgaard (Brd) def. Will Hennon-Caleb Brink 7-5, 6-4

Overall: Brd 14-8. Next: Brainerd vs Elk River at Blaine High School 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 31.

CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or Follow on Twitter at

Started at the Dispatch in June of 2019.
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