Rochester Lourdes knew going in that it would be one of the biggest upsets in Class A boys tennis tournament history if it could knock off No. 1-ranked Breck in Wednesday’s semifinals at St. Cloud Tech.
Rochester Mayo knew it was up against similar odds as it had to deal with No. 1-ranked Wayzata in the Class AA state semifinals at Prior Lake High School.
Neither seismic thing happened, though it wasn’t for lack of effort by either Rochester school. Breck dropped No. 4-ranked Lourdes 7-0 and Wayzata took care of No. 7-ranked Mayo 6-1.
Lourdes went on to beat No. 2 Mounds Park Academy 4-3 for third place and suddenly injury depleted Mayo lost 4-3 to Orono in its third-place dual.
All of the teams at both state tournament sites dealt with stifling temperatures and humidity on Wednesday. It made Lourdes coach Steve Tacl all the more pleased that his team hung in there and ended with a win.
“The conditions were pretty tough,” he said. “And that third-place match is always a tough one to play anyway. But I’m pleased with third place. If you’d have told me at the beginning of the year that we’d finish third, I’d have been pleased. Our guys battled the elements well and played with good energy.”
It was senior Jonathan Onigkeit who sealed things for Lourdes against Mounds Park Academy. With the teams locked in a 3-all tie, Onigkeit came through with a clinching win at No. 2 singles, dropping his opponent 6-2, 6-4. Onigkeit is one of just two seniors on the team, doubles player William Rooke the other.
The 4-3 team win left the Eagles 16-4 on the season.
They had hoped to make Breck blink in the semifinals. In the end, though, they were reminded just how good this Mustangs’ lineup is.
“They are just a better and deeper team than us,” Tacl said. “Our singles lineup is probably the strength of our team. But their top four guys are all just so solid. We wanted to infiltrate the Breck players’ minds a little bit and create some doubt for them, but I don’t feel like that happened today.”
Breck went on to win the state championship, blasting Mound-Westonka.
• Mayo’s lone win against Wayzata came at No. 2 doubles where Philip Wisniewski and Ben Erickson prevailed in three sets. The Spartans looked in good shape to also win at No. 1 doubles, as Josh Aney and Ashu Machida had built a 6-2, 2-1 lead. But Aney suffered a shoulder injury after that, forcing him to serve the rest of the match underhanded. That didn’t work out and the duo lost in three sets.
“We competed hard and had lots of positive energy,” Mayo coach Jeff Demaray said. “But Wayzata’s singles lineup is better than ours. They are very good.”
After losing to Wayzata, Mayo then barely lost to No. 3-ranked Orono. The Spartans had to get along without Aney, who was sidelined with that injured shoulder.
Mayo came close to getting things done even with its adjusted lineup.
Demaray was gunning for a sweep in doubles. That almost happened, as Mayo claimed two of those three spots. Its loss came at No. 2 doubles, in three sets.
“Orono is a really good team, and we left it all out on the courts,” said Demaray, whose team finished 18-3, two of the losses to Wayzata. “All of our guys gave it everything they had. I’m extremely proud of all of our guys. They had positive energy throughout the entire match.”
• At St. Cloud Tech
Breck 7, Lourdes 0
Singles: Clayton Haberman (B) def. Marjan Veldic 6-1, 6-3; Ishan Nadkarni (B) def. Jonathan Onigkeit 6-0, 6-2; Zach Piehl (B) def. Ethan Leeser 6-3, 6-0; Ben Rex (B) def. Freddie Suhler 6-2, 6-1. Doubles: David Gorman/Matt Berestka (B) def. Easton Blissenbach/Ethan Hubbard 6-2, 6-2; Emico Petto/John Gorman (B) def. William Rooke/Jonathan Boughey 6-0, 6-2; Owen Powers/Patrick Green (B) def. Charlie Young/Ethan Thompson 6-0, 6-2.
Lourdes 4, Mounds Park Academy 3
Singles: Veldic (L) def. Evan Fraser 6-2, 6-1; Onigkeit (L) def. Mario Larsen 6-4, 6-2; Leeser (L) def. Garrett Webb 6-2, 6-4; Michael Mars (MP) def. Young 6-1, 6-1. Doubles: Alex Vue/Henry Earl Fisher (MP) def. Suhler/Hubbard 6-1, 6-3; Diego Valverde/Tanner Gasteazoro (MP) def. Rooke/Blissebach 6-3, 6-4; Boughey/Thompson (L) def. Sean Park/Akshay Somayajula 6-3, 6-3.
• At Prior Lake H.S.
Wayzata 6, Mayo 1
Singles: Collin Beduhn (W) def. Ojas Bhagra 6-1, 6-2; Jayho Hong (W) def. Tej Bhagra 6-0, 6-1; Aaron Beduhn (W) def. Spencer Busch 6-3, 6-3; Brad Hagan (W) def. Caleb Neisen 6-2, 6-0. Doubles: Jack Bomier/Tanay Panguluri (W) def. Josh Aney/Ashu Machida 2-6, 6-3, 10-6; Philip Wisniewski/Ben Erickson (M) def. Anthony Pothacamury/Ram Subramanian 3-6, 7-6 (7-2), 10-4; Sevaan Puri/Arjun Prasad (W) def. David Teng/Daniel Meunier 6-2, 6-3.
Orono 4, Mayo 3
Singles: Matias Maule (O) def. Ojas Bhagra 6-3, 6-4; Tej Bhagra (M) def. Sam Skanse 6-2, 6-1; Hugh Perrill (O) def. Neisen 6-0, 6-1; Owen Skanse (O) def. Kennel 6-0, 6-0. Doubles: Preston Perrill/Jack Tanner (O) def. Wisniewski/Busch 5-7, 6-2, 10-7; Erickson/Machida (M) def. Joe Kasner/Quinn Martin 7-5, 1-6, 10-6; Noah Wisniewski/Teng (M) def. Aiden Ecker/Anthony Perrill 6-4, 4-6, 10-8.