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Woodbury tennis: Royals open section play this week

Woodbury players form a huddle led by coach Michael Moran before squaring off at home against East Ridge. Senior Joey Shubert was the lone victor in the Royals’ 6-1 loss to the Raptors. (Bulletin photo by Mike Longaecker)

The Royals kicked off section play this week after closing out regular-season Suburban East Conference action.

Woodbury drew the No. 7 seed and played Park (10) on Tuesday after the Bulletin went to press. A win over the Wolfpack would advance Woodbury in team play to a quarterfinal contest against No. 2-seeded Burnsville.

Seniors Joey Shubert and Ben Sajevic – normally singles players – will team up to play doubles during individual section play. They earned the No. 2 seed and will play opponents from either Park or Stillwater on May 23.

The Royals’ final regular season week began with a 6-1 win on May 5 over nonconference opponent Rosemount.

“It was a solid win that helped us in the seeding of the Section 3AA tournament,” Woodbury coach Michael Moran said.

The Royals’ good fortune for the week ended there, however. Woodbury lost 6-1 on May 6 to Stillwater and by the same score a day later to East Ridge.

Shubert proved Woodbury’s lone victor in both matches.

“Joey was playing incredibly well against their No. 1; they both are very familiar with each others’ style of play but Joey was the better player on Wednesday,” Moran said. “Our boys competed with East Ridge at every position, two of the matches went three sets and two others were close two setters.”

Woodbury then took to the road for tournament play in Eau Claire, Wis. Shubert and Sajevic teamed up for a three-set win. The Royals topped Stillwater in the tournament – a nice bit of revenge, Moran said.

“The boys all agreed that on Tuesday we did not play our best tennis so they wanted redemption when we faced off with the Ponies on Friday,” he said. “We took it to them on Friday and it was clear the boys were back on their game.”

Woodbury won on Saturday over Buffalo, but lost to Brookfield East (Wis.) and finished fourth of eight teams at the tournament. The Royals’ lone win against Brookfield East came by way of the Shubert-Sajevic tandem.

“By the end of the tournament, they both had gained the confidence they needed as they head into section play,” Moran said.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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