Woodbury boys tennis: Royals bounce back with pair of big wins against Centennial, HastingsAfter being topped 4-3 in the season opener by St. Paul Harding, the bourgeoning Woodbury boys tennis team bounced back with a pair of big wins last week.
By: Patrick Johnson, Staff Writer, Woodbury Bulletin
After being topped 4-3 in the season opener by St. Paul Harding, the bourgeoning Woodbury boys tennis team bounced back with a pair of big wins last week.
Woodbury won its first match of the year, on Wednesday, April 13, defeating section foe Centennial 4-3 and followed it up with a 6-1 win over Suburban East Conference opponent Hastings on Thursday, April 14.
Against Centennial, the defending Section 3AA runner-up, Woodbury split four singles matches with the Cougars and won two-of-three doubles matches for the win.
The match came down to the No. 1 doubles match, where Woodbury seniors Alex Haugstad and Matt Shubert won a three-set match, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, to win the contest for the Royals.
After Woodbury senior Jason Lu notched a quick 6-2, 6-2 victory at No. 3 singles to give Woodbury a 1-0 lead, the third doubles duo of Zack Moore and Jan Groth got point No. 2 for the Royals with a 6-0, 6-3 victory. Eventually, at No. 2 singles, Jake Sajevic would secure a straight-set victory (6-3, 6-4) to put the Royals ahead 3-0.
However, Woodbury seniors Dennis Zhou and Ben Wortmann were edged out at first and fourth singles, respectively, to make the match 3-2 in favor of Woodbury.
This left it up to one of the two remaining doubles teams to find a way to get the Royals the fourth and final point. Second doubles duo Joey Shubert and Josh Rebholz couldn’t quite get it done, despite battling hard, in a 6-4, 6-4 defeat, which left the match 3-3.
However, coming back from a set down, Haugstad and Matt Shubert forced a third set and won the match for Woodbury in dramatic fashion.
“It was fun to see Matt and Alex step up their game at key points during the match,” Woodbury head coach Derek Otto said. “To play the pressure points with the poise and confidence they did was exciting to see. Singles has been the strength of Woodbury tennis for some time, but last night it was the doubles who saved the day.”
Thursday’s 6-1 win over Hastings had less drama, but the same result for the Royals.
Against Hastings, Sajevec won 6-0, 6-1 at second singles, Lu won 6-0, 6-0 at third singles and freshman Joey Shubert won 6-2, 7-6 at third singles for his first varsity win. Woodbury swept doubles, with Haugstad and Matt Shubert winning 5-7, 7-6, 6-3 at first doubles, Wortmann and Rebholz earning a 6-1, 6-1 win at No. 2 dubs and Groth and Moore winning 6-2, 6-2 at third doubles.
Because of weather, Woodbury’s invitational tournament, set for Saturday, April 16, was canceled.
The Royals played host to Forest Lake on Tuesday, April 19, in a match that could help decide the SEC champion this year, after the Bulletin went to press. Next, Woodbury welcomes rival Park to Woodbury High School on Thursday, April 21.