PRIOR LAKE — Rochester Mayo held up better in the heat than Mahtomedi did.
That might well have been the difference on Tuesday in the Class AA boys tennis state quarterfinals at Prior Lake High School.
Mayo entered the dual seeded No. 4 while Mahtomedi was seeded fifth. Mayo had beaten the Zephyrs by a razor-thin 4-3 margin earlier this season.
On Tuesday, the Spartans did it again, prevailing 4-3 as Mahtomedi players had to walk away from two matches, one of them due to cramping and the other cause undetermined.
It was about 100 degrees on the Prior Lake courts.
“At No. 1 singles (where Prior Lake’s Will Lieberman retired after trailing 2-0 in the first set), I’m not sure what happened,” Mayo coach Jeff Demaray said. “They were barely on the courts when (Lieberman walked away). But it was awfully hot out there.”
At No. 2 singles, Mahtomedi’s Sam Rathmanner retired after he and Tej Bhagra had split the first two sets. Rathmanner was cramping, according to Demaray.
Mayo also got wins at No. 1 doubles (Spencer Busch and Caleb Neisen, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4) and No. 2 doubles (Josh Aney and Ben Erickson, 6-4, 6-4). Demaray noted that his doubles combinations were impressive in both of those matches.
The Spartans climbed to 17-1 and play No. 1-ranked Wayzata at 8 a.m. Wednesday in the semifinals. The championship and third-place duals are at noon.
Wayzata beat Mayo 6-1 earlier this season.
Demaray knows his team is up against a major power in Wednesday’s semifinals.
“We saw Wayzata earlier this season,” he said. “They are very strong at No. 1 and. 2 singles. And (coach) Jeff Prondzinski does a really good job with their doubles teams. They are always well positioned and well coached. Wayzata is unbeaten for a reason.”
Wayzata beat Duluth East 7-0 in Tuesday’s quarterfinals.
Mayo 4, Mahtomedi 3
Singles: Ojas Bhagra (Mayo) def. Will Lieberman 2-0, retired; Tej Bhagra (Mayo) def. Sam Rathmanner 6-1, 4-6, retired; Brandon Pham (Maht) def. Ashu Machida 6-0, 6-2; David Azcona (Maht) def. Philip Wisniewski 6-3, 6-4. Doubles: Spencer Busch/Caleb Neisen (Mayo) def. Jack Allaben/Wyatt Hanson 5-7, 6-3, 6-4; Josh Aney/Ben Erickson (Mayo) def. Evin Sougstad/Dylan Pham 6-4, 6-4; Adam Radabaugh/Sam Kalkman (Maht) def. David Teng/Daniel Meunier 7-5, 7-6 (7-5).