Lourdes' Veldic the only Rochester player still standing at state tennis tournaments

Rochester Lourdes sophomore Marjan Veldic will play on Friday morning in the Class A state singles semifinals at St. Cloud Tech.

Lourdes’ Marjan Veldic cheers after winning a point during a No. 1 singles Section 1A boys tennis team championship match against Schaeffer Academy on Tuesday, May 25, 2021, at Rochester Tennis Connection in Rochester. (Traci Westcott /
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The guess is that Marjan Veldic will sleep well tonight. At least for a guy who’ll be playing in the Class A state tennis singles semifinals on Friday morning.

The Rochester Lourdes sophomore is likely too tired to be dealing with nerves. On Thursday at St. Cloud Tech, Veldic played and won two matches, both of them going the limit. And he did it in 90-degree heat.

The tournament’s No. 2 seed in singles, Veldic won the first match 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 over Thief River Falls’ Camden Broadwell. Then, two hours later, he beat Southwest Christian’s Caleb Valgersdyk in another long and grueling battle in the sun — 6-1, 5-7, 6-1 in the quarterfinals.

That sets Veldic up for a semifinal match against No. 3 seed Jack Linder of Mound Westonka at 8 a.m. Friday. The final and third-place matches will be at 11:30 a.m.

While Veldic survived the first day and will continue his tennis season Friday, no one else from Section 1A did. The biggest surprise there was Lourdes’ No. 3 doubles seed Jonathan Onigkeit and Freddie Suhler losing in the quarterfinals, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 to unseeded Dylan Hahn and Jack Onkka of Thief River Falls. There are no consolation rounds this season due to the COVID 19 pandemic, so Onigkeit’s and Suhler’s season is done.


Also seeing their seasons end were Winona Cotter singles player Ian Modjeski, as well as the Lourdes doubles team of juniors Ethan Leeser and Easton Blissenbach. No. 5 seed Modjeski, a senior, lost 6-1, 6-0 in the quarterfinals to No. 4 seed Evan Fraser of Mounds Park Academy. Leeser/Blissenbach lost 6-3, 6-3 in the first round

• After the Class AA quarterfinals, Rochester had no more players standing in that state tournament at Prior Lake High School.

Century senior star Josh Christensen barrelled through the first round, winning 6-1, 6-1. But a major obstacle presented itself in the quarterfinals, Mounds View’s Bjorn Swenson. The unbeaten junior (20-0) is seeded first and also regarded as a top player nationally in his age group. Swenson quickly took care of business, winning 6-1, 6-1.

The quarterfinals were also the end of the line for Mayo seventh-grade upstart Tej Bhagra. That is where he faced the tournament’s No. 2 seed, Edina’s Matthew Fullerton. A sophomore and 23-1 this year, Fullerton was too much for Bhagra, winning 6-0, 6-1.

Rochester players made an early exit in doubles. Mayo’s No. 3 seed of senior Ojas Bhagra and junior Spencer Busch lost 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 in the first round to Washburn’s Luke Little and Nick Anderson. Century’s duo of senior Alec Sargent and junior Henry Kruse was also a first-round casualty, losing 6-1, 6-2 to fifth-seeded Brandon Pham and Dylan Pham of Mahtomedi.


• At St. Cloud Tech

Results from Section 1A players



First round: Ian Modjeski (Cotter) def. Carter Reinbold (Mound Westonka) 6-4, 6-4; Marjan Veldic (Lourdes) def. Camden Broadwell (Thief River Falls) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. Quarterfinals: Evan Fraser (Mounds Park Academy) def. Modjeski 6-1, 6-0; Veldic def. Caleb Valgersdyk (Southwest Christian) 6-1, 5-7, 6-1.


First round: Alex Draeger/Tyson Michels (Litchfield) def. Ethan Leeser/Easton Blissenbach (Lourdes) 6-3, 6-3; Jonathan Onigkeit/Freddie Suhler (Lourdes) def. Alex Vue/Henry Earl Fisher (Mounds Park Academy) 6-4, 6-4. Quarterfinals: Dylan Hahn/Jack Onkka (Thief River Falls) def. Onigkeit/Suhler 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.


• At Prior Lake H.S.

Results from Section 1AA players



First round: Josh Christensen (Century) def. Matthew Moraghan (Brainerd) 6-1, 6-1; Tej Bhagra (Mayo) def. Cullen Brown (Elk River) 6-0, 6-0. Quarterfinals: Bjorn Swenson (Mounds View) def. Christensen 6-1, 6-1; Matthew Fullerton (Edina) def. Bhagra 6-0, 6-1.


First round: Brandon Pham/Dylan Pham (Mahtomedi) def. Henry Kruse/Alec Sargent 6-1, 6-2; Luke Little/Nick Anderson (Washburn) def. Ojas Bhagra/Spencer Busch (Mayo) 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.

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