Robins hold off Hodags for 4-3 Great Northern Conference win|
On another cold, windy day, the Antigo boy's tennis team proved its toughness, overcoming a tough Rhinelander opponent 4-3.
Once more spectators were cuddled up in blankets while players donned extra clothing, just to brave the weather.
"Last year Rhinelander beat us out of first place in the conference so the players know that in order to have a shot at winning, they must beat them,” head coach Dave Zalewski said. “It was a real challenge but the boy's fought so hard, and snuck out the victory. Even two of the losses were very exciting matches that easily could have gone our way."
Antigo's top two doubles teams of Colin Bastle and Kyle West at No. 1 along with Joe Novak and Brian Bartletti at No. 2 dominated their opponents in straight sets. Bastle/West defeated Hodag’s Lou Bassette and Trent Wild 6-2, 6-3 while Novak and Bartletti sent Jacob Sampson and Jordan Sampson back to Rhinelander with 6-1 6-2 losses.
"These four players are firing on all cylinders right now,” the coach exclaimed. “It is so encouraging to see their understanding of the game of doubles grow."
Playing for his first time at No. 1 single, Brett Haakenson faced a tough opponent Nate Tvedton. After taking the first set 6-2, Haakenson was pushed to the limit the second set before winning 7-5.
“Brett is such an intelligent player. He is learning to implement a game plan and it is showed in this victory," Zalweski said.
At No. 3 single for Antigo, Ben Kryka got his second victory in a row, playing Drew Stafford with wins of 6-3 and 6-2.
The longest matches of the meet came at No. 4 singles, Alex Thomae and No. 3 doubles, Isaac Cuellar and Garrett Grabowsky.
Thomae lost a hard-fought three sets to Rhinelander’s Kyle Thorton in a nearly three hour match. By the time he lost the third set tiebreaker, both players were exhausted.
“This is the kind of athletic contest that makes high school sports so entertaining," Zalewski added.
The team of Grabowsky and Cuellar dropped the first set 4-6, but came back in the second, 6-3. With the score knotted, neither team was willing to concede and the third set went to a tiebreaker. All four players scrapped for every point but the young Rhinelander duo of Will Ginael and Cody Zimmerman came out on top by the smallest of margins.
“Overall, it was a very exciting match and satisfying win,” the coach added. “Rhinelander is a tough team, so we will take any victory against them—no matter how close.”
The Robins’ next match is a home triangular Tuesday against Bayport and Wausau Newman. Antigo will play Bayport at 2:30 p.m. while facing Newman at 5 p.m.
Antigo Boys Tennis
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Ralph Elleson Courts
Antigo 4, Rhinelander 3
1. Brett Haakenson (A) defeated Nate Tvedton (R) 6-2, 7-5
2. Wes Fick (A) lost to Sam O'Melia (R) 0-6, 1-6
3. Ben Kryka (A) defeated Drew Stafford (R) 6-3, 6-2
4. Alex Thomae (A) lost to Kyle Thorton (R) 7-6 (13-11), 4-6, 6-7 (5-7)
1. Colin Bastle & Kyle West (A) defeated Lou Bassette & Trent Wild (R) 6-2, 6-3
2. Joe Novak & Brian Bartletti (A) defeated Jacob Sampson & Jordan Sampson (R) 6-1 6-2
3. Isaac Cuellar & Garrett Grabowsky (A) lost to Will Ginael & Cody Zimmerman (R) 4-6 6-3, 6-7 (8-10)
Antigo's Jacob Powell, Andy Blink, Joe Servi and Jack McKenna all won their matches.
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