Boys tennis: Rochester, Austin previews

05-22 Lourdes David Turlington.jpg
Lourdes' David Turlington is one of a pack of talented juniors for the Eagles tennis team this season. Lourdes enters ranked No. 2 in state Class A.


Head coach: Troy Diekman: Assistant:Jeff Anderson.

Last year:Austin finished below .500 in the Big Nine and was eliminated by Northfield 5-2 in the first round of the Section 1AA tournament. Austin had been the No. 6 seed. Austin had no one advance to the state individual tournament.

Outlook:The Packers lost some solid players to graduation. Austin must replace Pat Wagner at No. 1 singles. Junior Colton Detwiler seems the logical choice there, after having play No. 2 singles last year. Jeremy Olmsted played No. 4 singles last season and the junior might jump to the No. 2 spot.

Austin also must replace its No. 1 doubles team of Ethan Larson and Nick Brehmer. Juniors Sawyer Meyers and Owen Nelson may go from No. 2 doubles to the top spot this season. . .With plenty of holes to fill, there are challenges there for Austin. But the experience of Detwiler, Meyers and Nelson should help. What doesn't help is that Austin has no seniors on its roster.



Juniors: Carter Steichen, Clyde Carver, Colton Detwiler, Ethan Anderson, Jeremy Olmsted, Justin Bergemann, Levi Vierkandt, Owen Nelson, Sawyer Meyers, Seth Hebrink. Freshmen:Isaac Arnold, Noah Kremin, Todd Weaver. Eighth grade:Jens Ourada.


April 10 — Albert Lea

April 14 —Fairmont

April 15 —at Mankato West

April 17 —Century

April 21 —Blue Earth


April 22 —at Mankato East

April 24 —Winona

April 26 —at Lakeville South Invitational, 9 a.m.

April 28 —Northfield

April 29 —at Mayo

May 1 —at Owatonna

May 6 —Faribault

May 8 —at John Marshall


May 10 —at Big Nine tournament, Rochester Outdoor Tennis Center, 9 a.m.

May 13 —Section team tournament, TBD, 4 p.m.

May 14 —Section team tournament, TBD, 4 p.m.

May 20 —Section team tournament, TBD, 9 p.m.

May 22 —Section individual tournament, TBD, 9 a.m.

May 27 —Section individual tournament, TBD, 9 a.m.


Head coach:Nick Crossley. Assistant:Justin Howard.


Last year:Century finish 9-1 in the Big Nine and 10-3 overall. It lost 4-3 to Mayo in the Section 1AA championship. The Panthers didn't advance anyone to last year's individual state tournament.

Outlook:Century figures to be the second best team in the Big Nine and Section 1AA again, behind Mayo. However, fellow section teams Lakeville North, Red Wing and John Marshall all are up-and-coming and could leapfrog Century.

Century doesn't have any superstars, but it is balanced and deep. Its top three players are sophomore Sahil Chhugani, junior Alex Senjem and eighth-grader Nick Aney. Any of them could end up at No. 1 singles, and all figure to land somewhere in the top three singles spots. Chhugani played No. 2 singles last year, Senjem No. 3 and Aney No. 4. Another promising player is junior Jackson Rainville, who has made big strides from last year. . .Besides Aney, Century may be turning to a couple more youngsters, seventh grader Varun Iyer and eighth grader Matt Christensen. Century has to do some of that after losing five of its top 10 players from a year ago to graduation. The Panthers are hoping the newcomers can help in doubles especially, where they've struggled against the top teams in recent years.

Coach says:"We're about as good as last year. We lost five of our top 10 guys, but we have guys who have improved. We will be one of the best teams in the conference and we hope to make Mayo sweat." — Nick Crossley


Seniors: Jeffrey Park, John Geerdes, Rory Li. Juniors:Jackson Rainville, Alex Senjem, Branden Yates. Sophomores:Ghanashyam Unnikrishnan, Sahil Chhugani. Freshman:Gabe Hollman. Eighth grade:Nick Aney, Matt Christensen.


Junior: Ryan Narveson. Seventh grade:Varun Iyer.



April 10 —at Mankato East

April 12 —Mankato West, at JM, 4 p.m.

April 15 —Winona

April 17 —at Austin

April 22 —Owatonna

April 24 — at Faribault

April 26 —Century Invitational, 9 a.m.


April 28 —Lakeville North

April 29 —John Marshall

May 1 —at Albert Lea

May 2 —Red Wing, 10 a.m.

May 6 —at Lourdes

May 8 —Mayo

May 10 —at Big Nine tournament, Rochester Outdoor Tennis Center, 9 a.m.

May 13 —Section team tournament, TBD, 4 p.m.

May 14 —Section team tournament, TBD, 4 p.m.

May 20 —Section team tournament, TBD, 9 p.m.

May 22 —Section individual tournament, TBD, 9 a.m.

May 27 —Section individual tournament, TBD, 9 a.m.


Head coach:Josh Heiden. Assistant:John Scheuermann.

Last year:JM was 4-5 in the Big Nine and 5-10 overall. It fell 6-1 to Lakeville North in the first round of the Section 1AA tournament.

Jason Howard finished as Section 1AA singles champion, then lost his first two matches at state. Howard was the first section singles champ at JM since Eric Butorac in 1998.

Outlook:JM has a new head coach, Josh Heiden. The Rochester Tennis Connection tennis professional replaces Kyle Anderson. Heiden also coached JM tennis before moving to Nebraska a few years ago. Heiden hopes to get the Rockets over the hump and turn them into a winning program. That seems within reach, the JM returning most of its top players and also boasting arguably the top No. 1 and 2 singles players in the Big Nine, sophomore Jason Howard and senior Abhi Lamba. Howard is the returning section singles champion and Lamba was a big winner at No. 2 singles last year. JM also returns solid singles player Sachchit Murali, a junior, and last year's No. 1 doubles player Colin Jacobs (junior). There also is some nice young talent here, with seventh-grader Isaac Cheruiyot and Anish Singh.

JM's biggest concern is getting over the mental hurdle of believing it can beat the upper-echelon teams, such as Mayo and Century.

Coach says:"JM had been seen as the doormat to some teams. I think getting out of that attitude and mentality needs to change if we are to do some special things. It's a process. But our guys are raring to go. They are chomping at the bit to be good and improve." — Josh Heiden


Seniors:Chris Kotschevar, Abhi Lamba, Setu Patel, Abhi Lamba. Juniors:Colin Jacobs, Sachchit Murali, Andrew Yadlowski. Sophomores:Jason Howard. Freshman:Nikhil Marda. Eighth grade:Pujan Patel.


Eighth grade: Jason Coyle. Seventh grade:Anish Singh, Isaac Cheruiyot, Rohan Patel.


April 7 —at Lake City

April 10 —at Owatonna

April 12 —Mankato West, 11 a.m.

April 15 —Faribault

April 17 —Mayo

April 21 —at Lourdes

April 22 —at Albert Lea

April 26 —at Northfield Invitational, 8:15 a.m.

April 29 —at Century

May 1 —Mankato East

May 6 —at Winona

May 8 —Austin

May 10 —at Big Nine tournament, Rochester Outdoor Tennis Center, 9 a.m.

May 13 —Section team tournament, TBD, 4 p.m.

May 14 —Section team tournament, TBD, 4 p.m.

May 20 —Section team tournament, TBD, 9 p.m.

May 22 —Section individual tournament, TBD, 9 a.m.

May 27 —Section individual tournament, TBD, 9 a.m.


Head coach: Steve Tacl. Assistant:Joe Boyer.

Last year:Lourdes was 15-1 overall and unbeaten in the HVL. Lourdes beat New Life Academy 5-2 in the Section 1A finals, then lost 5-2 to Blake in the first round of the state tournament. The Eagles followed that by beating Thief River Falls 5-2 for fifth place.

In the individual state meet, Lourdes' doubles combination of Nico Villarraga and (graduated) Allen Schembri-Wismayer fell in the state semifinals and landed fourth overall. Lourdes' David Turlington and Hadi Berbari reached the state doubles quarterfinals before being eliminated.

Outlook:Lourdes is a heavy favorite to get back to the state tournament. The Eagles, who were ranked third at the end of last season, are ranked second now behind state defending champion Blake. Lourdes is hungering for a state title.

It has a shot at it, led by a large group of talented juniors. No. 1 singles will be manned by either Turlington (ranked eighth in state Class A) or Villarraga, both juniors. Turlington played No. 1 last year and Villarraga No. 3. Both have improved. Lourdes also has an excellent player in No. 1 doubles guy Hadi Berbari, another junior. The Eagles are uncertain about who will be positioned where other than those three. A number of players are competing for spots. Lourdes' lone senior is Aaron Filzen, who was at No. 3 doubles last year. . .Lourdes has excellent depth, with not much difference between its No. 1 and No. 3 doubles teams.

Coach says:"We want everything to be done with intent at practices. We don't just want to be mindlessly hitting tennis balls. What they are doing, we want them doing to get better and to help the team." — Steve Tacl


Seniors: Aaron Filzen. Juniors:David Turlington, Nico Villarraga, Hadi Berbari, Aneesh Ramamoorthy, Thomas Erickson, Ben Utz, Stefan Farrugia. Sophomores:Skylar Lopez. Freshman:Peter Erickson.


Seniors: Nick Moder. Sophomores:Alex Szarka, Noah Morris. Eighth grade:Eric Chestolowski.


April 10 — Winona

April 11 —at Mayo

April 17 —Cotter

April 21 —John Marshall

April 23 —at Red Wing

April 24 —at Lake City

April 26 —at Century Invitational, 9 a.m.

April 29 —at Stewartville

May 3 —at Pine City Invitational, 8 a.m.

May 5 —Lake City

May 6 —Century

May 8 —at Cotter

May 13 —Waseca

May 15 —Holy Angels


Head coach: Jeff Demaray: Assistants:Dave Edwards, Jerry Demaray.

Last year's conference and overall records:Mayo was 9-0 in the Big Nine, 13-8 overall. It beat Century 4-3 in the Section 1AA championship. Mayo fell 5-2 to Elk River in the state quarterfinals, then lost 4-3 to Bloomington Jefferson in the consolations semis.

In the state individual tournament, the combination of Michael Poeschla and Nicholas Ackerman fell 7-5, 6-1 in the state quarterfinals.

Outlook:Mayo, which is ranked ninth in state Class AA, is looking to win the section title for the 12th straight season. The Spartans are favored to do that thanks to once again having excellent depth and experience. Nine of Mayo's top 11 players return from last year.

Mayo has no clear-cut No. 1 singles player. Poeschla (senior), Ackerman (junior) and eighth-grader Sebastian Vile are all in contention for that spot. In doubles, look for seniors Ray Zhang and Andy Stroebel to have a big impact, as well as sophomore Haakon Stans and senior Ashwin Kushwaha. Though no positions are in stone yet, all four of them played doubles last year. Another reason for optimism is the return of freshman Cameron Bruce, who missed most of last season with an injury. Mayo's biggest concern is a lack of a bona fide top-10-in-the-state player.

Coach says:"We should be a deep team which will give us an edge in doubles. Our goals are to have fun, play our best tennis at the end of the season, win the Big Nine and advance to the state tournament." — Jeff Demaray


Seniors:Ashwin Kushwaha, Micheal Poeschla, Andy Stroebel, Ray Zhang. Junior:Nick Ackerman. Sophomores:Clay Edwards, Haakon Stans. Freshmen:Charles Bengtson, Cameron Bruce. Eighth grade:Sebastian Vile.


Juniors:TedMidthun. Freshman:Sam Morgenthaler. Seventh grade:Kevin Daniel


April 10 — at Faribault

April 11 —Lourdes

April 15 —Mankato East

April 17 —at John Marshall

April 21 —Blake

April 22 —Winona

April 24 —at Albert Lea

April 25 —Wayzata, 4 p.m.

April 29 —Austin

April 30 —at Minnetonka, 4 p.m.

May 1 —at Mankato West

May 3 —at Edina Invitational, 8:30 a.m.

May 5 —at Red Wing, 4 p.m.

May 6 —Owatonna

May 8 —at Century

May 10 —at Big Nine tournament, Rochester Outdoor Tennis Center, 9 a.m.

May 13 —Section team tournament, TBD, 4 p.m.

May 14 —Section team tournament, TBD, 4 p.m.

May 20 —Section team tournament, TBD, 9 p.m.

May 22 —Section individual tournament, TBD, 9 a.m.

May 27 —Section individual tournament, TBD, 9 a.m.

— Pat Ruff

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