Packers win season opener
The Austin Packers boys tennis team started the season with a 4-1 win over Northfield on Tuesday afternoon at the Paulson Courts.
Despite having two of their matches suspended due to rain, the Packers were in complete control of this non-conference dual meet. The No. 4 singles match and No. 1 doubles matches were called off in the third sets after rain started to fall.
Drew Halvin, a senior for the Packers, led the way for the home team with a sweep of his two sets at No. 1 singles. Peter Lindahl also won at No. 3 singles for the Packers in their opener.
"Halvin played an excellent match for us at No. 1 singles," Austin coach Tom Tauchnitz said. "Drew is such a crafty player out there and he feels his opponent out so well. Then, when he finds a weakness he exploits it so well."
In the doubles matches, the Packers picked up a pair of wins to take the upper hand in the dual meet. The No. 2 doubles team of Tony Anderson and Matt Zastoupil won a close first set, and then finished it off with a convincing win in the second set.
"Anderson and Zastoupil played an excellent match," the coach said. "It was Matt’s first varsity match so as he settled down and the nerves went away, then he made a lot more shots. Tony was just an animal at the net today."
Securing the team win for the Packers was the No. 3 doubles duo of Kyle Swtafager and Jacob Brehmer. The Austin High doubles team easily won in straights sets at 6-2, 6-3.
"Swatfager and Brehmer really showed their athleticism out there on the court," Tauchnitz said. "Kyle and Jacob are going to win a lot of matches for us at No. 3 doubles just on raw athleticism. They are really quick and get to a lot of balls that opponents don’t expect them to. Not only do they get to them, but they can turn defense into offense very quickly. I have a feeling we’re going to surprise a lot of teams this season."
Robby Silbaugh of Austin won his first set at No. 4 singles, then lost the second set, and the rain claimed the third set. Brad Weiss and Bobby Astrup, the No. 1 doubles team for the Packers, were also involved in another close match when the weather finished the fun.
"The one thing about my team is they are never going to give up and they’re going to come at you with both barrels until the match ends," Tauchnitz concluded. "This team will be mentally strong and is going to win some matches that some people think we can’t. I truly believe that and I truly believe in my team. We aren’t where we want to be yet and we have a lot more work to do, but it was good to get a win in the season opener."
Austin (1-0) begins Big Nine Conference play on Thursday with a scheduled dual meet against the Winona Winhawks at the Wescott Field sports complex.
AUSTIN 4, NORTHFIELD 1
Singles — Drew Halvin (A) def. Peter Lundin 6-3, 6-2; Ryan Abdella (N) def. John Register 6-2, 6-4; Peter Lindahl (A) def. Andrew Trano 7-6, 6-4; Robby Silbaugh (A) vs. Jake Odell 6-2, 2-6 (match called due to rain).
Doubles — Brad Weiss/Bobby Astrup (A) vs. Tyler Kitzman/Eric Emmons 3-6, 6-1 (match called due to rain); Tony Anderson/Matt Zastoupil (A) def. Mike Howard/Alex Kaplan 7-5, 6-2; Kyle Swatfager/Jacob Brehmer (A) def. Scott Abdella/Vinh Bui 6-2, 6-3.