Lourdes rides Leeser in advancing to state semifinals
Rochester Lourdes needed a win at No. 3 singles from Ethan Leeser to prevail in its state quarterfinal round boys tennis dual. Leeser got it done, using three sets to lift the Eagles to a 4-3 win.
ST. CLOUD — It came down to Ethan Leeser. The Rochester Lourdes junior didn’t disappoint.
Leeser, playing No. 3 singles for the Eagles boys tennis team, needed to prevail in his match in order for his team to knock off Virginia 4-3 in the Class A boys tennis state quarterfinals on Tuesday at St. Cloud Tech.
Leeser’s No. 3 singles match was the last one left on the courts and the teams were tied 3-all.
Leeser got things done. After struggling in the first set, he finished up in style, winning 2-6, 6-3, 6-0.
That set No. 4-ranked Lourdes up for an 8 a.m. dual with No. 1 ranked Breck on Wednesday. The championship and third-place duals will follow at noon.
“In the third set, Ethan took the drama out of the match,” Lourdes coach Steve Tacl said. “He did it with everyone watching and it coming down to him. Ethan realized he had to become more aggressive and he rose to the occasion. There were a lot of Virginia fans there, and he took the energy out of (its crowd). HIs skills came through.”
Leeser and Lourdes managed the win in blazing heat Tuesday. Virginia was executing in such a way that the Eagles got even hotter, with the No. 7-ranked Blue Devils hanging in there with one rally after another.
“They were making us hit a second and third volley,” Tacl said. “To their credit, they were doing some really good stuff.”
Leeser did some really good stuff as well and got it done when it mattered most.
Leeser’s win was part of a Lourdes singles sweep. Marjan Veldic won at No. 1 singles, 6-2, 6-2; Jonathan Onigkeit won at No. 2 singles, 6-1, 6-4; Leeser won at No. 3, 2-6, 6-3, 6-0; and Freddie Suhler won at No. 4, 6-2, 6-4.
Lourdes' win upped it to 15-3 overall.
Breck won 6-1 in its quarterfinal dual over No. 3 St. Paul Academy.
Lourdes 4, Virginia 3
Singles: Marjan Veldic (L) def. Jared Delich 6-2, 6-2; Jonathan Onigkeit (L) def. Jack Elliot 6-1, 6-4; Ethan Leeser (L) def. Gavin Benz 2-6, 6-3, 6-0; Freddie Suhler (L) def. Jake Bradach 6-2, 6-4. Doubles: Ryan Scherf/Jace Westberbur (V) def. Easton Blissenbach/Ethan Nubbard 6-0, 6-1; Logan Bialke/Sam Berlin (V) def. William Rooke/Jonathan Boughey 6-4, 6-2; Chade Powell/Keegan Rudebusch (V) def. Charlie Young/Ethan Thompson 6-4 6-3.