Luckily, the boys’ tennis team was indoors in Fargo Friday for their matches against Crookston and the East Grand Forks. The Lakers came from there with two wins. Pictured: Connor Quelle and Gannon Walsh teamed up for the # 2 doubles to win against Crookston.
The Minnewaska boys’ tennis team opened the 2022 season in Fargo last Friday. The Lakers played Crookston and East Grand Forks indoors at the Courts Plus Tennis Center in Fargo, making the tennis team the first spring sport out of the gate.
The weather outside was cold and ugly. The matches would not have been played if it had not been for the indoor environment in Fargo.
The boys tennis team comes after a successful 2021 season that ends the year with 16-7 and finishes in second place in the section. The team returns intact this season, except the Maanum family moves to Park Rapids. Maanums will be missed.
Recurring letter winners for 2022 are seniors Tate Reichmann, Damon Uhde, Gannon Walsh, Ethan Quelle, Konner Hanson, Nik VanDyke and Riley Guzman.
Recurring underclassman is Noah Palmer, Riley Thorfinnson, Connor Quelle and Tenzin Dahl.
New players to the program hoping to have a positive impact senior Alec Larson, who is out for tennis for the first time and has a good foundation for tennis. Also new to the team is Carter LeClair in seventh grade. He possesses great tennis skills, and head coach Tara Reichmann expects him to develop into a great player. He already trains against many players at the university level.
Drew Bleick is an eighth grader out for the first time and is doing a great job of learning the game and gaining some experience in the extra matches at the university.
Minnewaska will have several seventh and eighth graders (18 in total), all of whom will have extensive experience this year. In total, there are 30 players out for boys ‘tennis this season, which is a large number and a good sign of the health of the boys’ tennis program.
Along with head coach Tara Reichmann will be Hunter Salathe, who will head junior high-tennis, and Chad Quelle, who will serve as university assistant.
Coach Reichmann expects Thief River Falls to once again be the team to beat in the section. New London is new to the section this year and Benson is no longer in the section. It will be a pretty competitive section, especially in individuals as there are some tough returning tennis players with state experience, including the Lakers’ Tate Reichmann.
Minnewaska got off to a good start to their season and won both games. First was a fight against Crookston.
Tate Reichmann and Ethan Quelle both recorded victories on # 1 and # 2 singles, respectively. Reichmann snuck past his opponent and lost only one game in two sets. Quelle had to work harder, but the result was the same. Quelle needed three sets to pass his opponent, winning the second and third sets with 6-4 goals.
The double teams gave the other two team points needed for the victory. Gannon Walsh and Connor Quelle teamed up for the # 2 doubles for a 6-1, 6-4 victory. Noah Palmer and Konner Hanson secured the fourth Minnewaska victory, taking a 6-4, 6-4 victory at the # 3 doubles.
The win was significant as Minnewaska had a close game with Crookston last season and the Pirates did not lose anyone from last year either. The Lakers beat the Pirates last year, 4-3, in the section semifinals to advance to the section finals. Crookston is a strong team in the section so the win was good.
Minnewaska’s next game was against the East Grand Forks. The Lakers rolled over Green Wave and won all seven games. Minnewaska took all the fights in equal sets and never surrendered more than three fights in any set.
Tate Reichmann lost just one match in two sets with # 1 singles, while Nik VanDyke flourished in his # 3 singles match and won both sets with 6-1 scores. Brothers Ethan and Connor Quelle won at the other two singles matches, where Ethan won a 6-3, 6-0 victory at # 2 singles. Connor played solo on # 4 singles and won 6-1, 6-1.
The doubles teams were all different from the Crookston match. Damon Uhde and Gannon Walsh paired for a win at the # 1 double. Noah Palmer moved a spot up to the # 2 doubles and combined with Tenzin Dahl for a 6-1, 6-1 win. Alex Larson got his first college win, teaming up with Konner Hanson on the # 3 doubles for a two-set win.
Weather permitting, the Lakers will play the first home game of the season on Tuesday, when they host Lac Qui Parle Valley. On Thursday, the team is scheduled to play at St. Cloud Apollo in a triangular that also includes Fergus Falls.