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Woodbury boys tennis: Singles players dominant for in win over Hastings

The Royals may be playing catch-up with Mother Nature, but they're holding their own against Suburban East Conference competition.

Woodbury improved to 4-1 in SEC following wins last week over Hastings and White Bear Lake. The Royals' lone conference loss came Thursday, May 2, against unbeaten SEC leader Mounds View.

"I'm happy with where we are right now," said Woodbury tennis coach Michael Moran.

Woodbury started off the week on April 29 with a 6-1 home win over Hastings.

Once again, the Royals' singles players dominated each of their games. No. 1 singles player Matt Shubert battled back from a first-set deficit to win 6-7, 6-1, 6-2. Meanwhile his fellow co-captains Ben Sajevic (No. 2 singles) and Joey Shubert (No. 3 singles) won in straight sets. Senior Aditya Vasavan completed the singles' sweep with a 6-1, 6-3 victory.

The doubles pairing of David Lundberg and Arie Scherson earned a win at No. 2 doubles against Hastings, as did the duo of Michael Chu and Dollins Akembuom at No. 3 doubles.

"That was good to see them play really well together," Moran said of the latter pairing.

In an away match on April 30 against White Bear Lake, the Royals won 5-2. It was another singles' sweep for Woodbury, and a key win at No. 2 doubles.

In that game, Lundberg and Scherson dominated the first set 6-1, but fell 4-6 in the second frame. Moran said he used the final intermission to challenge the players. They responded, winning 6-2 in the clincher set.

"I just challenged them, 'You should be able to beat this team,'" Moran said.

Challenges abounded two days later in the Royals' 6-1 loss to Mounds View. Sajevic was the lone victor in the match; he won 6-2, 6-1 at No. 2 singles.

"That was pretty impressive," Moran said. "He just had that focus that I wanted everybody to have. He was up to the challenge."

Woodbury closed out the week with a tournament in Eau Claire, Wis., against some of the top competition in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Woodbury squared off against Eau Claire (Wis.) Memorial, Brookfield East (Wis.) and Wayzata in the four-team tournament.

The Royals finished last, but Moran said there was more at stake than statistics.

"It's just a little different level of tennis we haven't seen," he said. "Many of our guys stepped up their game knowing we're not able to step on the court bringing our B game. It shows them where we are and where we need to be."

Woodbury has another busy week on tap, which began with an away match against Cretin-Derham Hall on Monday and a home match Tuesday against Stilwater.

Woodbury plays host Thursday to Roseville and finishes the week with the inaugural Seven Mile Match against District 833 rival Park at home on Friday.