State Boys Tennis: Brainerd's Lundberg set for second state trip
With one year of experience under his belt, Tanner Lundberg is ready for the next step. The problem for the Brainerd Warriors' junior is which step to take. He'll make his decision prior to 8 a.m. Thursday. That's when Lundberg begins his second ...
With one year of experience under his belt, Tanner Lundberg is ready for the next step.
The problem for the Brainerd Warriors' junior is which step to take.
He'll make his decision prior to 8 a.m. Thursday. That's when Lundberg begins his second Class 2A state singles tournament at Baseline Tennis Center in Minneapolis.
The Section 8-2A singles champion will open against Duluth East senior Elliot Schneider.
The strategy is whether to win or lose the first-round match. The way the individual state tournament is set up, should a player win their first match, and lose their second, then they are eliminated from the tournament. However, if a player loses his first match they then fall into the consolation bracket for a chance at a possible trip to the second day of state and the consolation championship.
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- What: Class 2A singles tournament
- Who: Brainerd Warriors junior Tanner Lundberg
- When: 8 a.m. Thursday
- Where: Baseline Tennis Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
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Lundberg wants to win, but a loss wouldn't be the end of the world and is an intriguing alternative, especially with what might be waiting in that second round.
"I think even just getting one win would be nice," said Lundberg. "I don't know what we'll do because it's kind of iffy. It would be nice to win the first one, but then if you lose the second one you're obviously out. If you lose the first one you can keep winning and go into the next day. I'm not sure really.
"I think winning the first one would be a little bit better."
Brainerd head coach Bruce Thompson wants to see Lundberg earn the first-round win and take his chances in the quarterfinals.
"When you're in the top 16, you are talented," said Thompson. "I would want to go out there and play my best tennis. Tanner goes way back with a number of these kids in the tournament. A number of these kids he's played in 10-and-under and 12-and under tournaments and he's even been doubles teammates with some. The problem is he hasn't played them lately."
Depending on that first-round outcome, Lundberg, who enters the tournament 29-2, will face either the winner or loser of No. 2 seeded and Class 2A's No. 2 ranked Sebastian Vile of Rochester Mayo or Minnetonka's Ben Wheaton. Both are juniors.
"I think, for sure, I'll be a little bit nervous, but I'll know what to expect and I'm more prepared," Lundberg said. "I'll know what's coming. (Schneider) is going to be a big hitter so I'll just need to stay in the point, look for my openings and attack him, too."
This is Schneider's second state tournament. The Greyhound won his opening-round match last year before falling to this year's top-seeded Ben van der Swan of East Ridge in the next round.
"I know he's going to have a good serve, a good forehand and a strong game," Lundberg said. "I'm just going to have to be more consistent and wait for my opening to beat him.
"I think it's a pretty good draw for me." As a sophomore, Lundberg fell to Orono's Conner Olsen in his first state match. He was then eliminated by Mahtomedi's spencer Wick in the consolation quarterfinals.
Olsen is back in the singles tournament as the No. 4 seed. Wick has moved to doubles.
To better prepare for the speed and power of his upcoming opponents, Lundberg has been practicing against former college players.
"He's a stronger and smarter player this year and during the time off we've put him against former college players," said Thompson. "He's stepped up to get a taste of the force and speed that the ball is going to be coming over the net at him. He's been playing some really good players in Titus Christianson of Fergus Falls and St. Cloud State University and Bryan Baumann of St. Cloud.
"We're preparing better than we did last year."
Thompson believes Lundberg will be smart and aggressive. He called his No. 1 singles player crafty. He also believes Lundberg will be confident enough to take some risks. Lundberg agrees.
"I'm a lot more confident since last year," said Lundberg. "I got to see what it's like and now I know what I have to expect going in.
"I'm much more improved from last year. Last year, I never really attacked or tried to put away the point. This year, I'm able to do that. I think I'll be quite a bit more aggressive. I know when to put pressure on and stay in the point and all of that."