Coach Collin Hoppe, in his first head coaching season at Pipestone, has endured a tough, yet successful, start to his tennis coaching tenure. “The weather has really made things tough,” said Hoppe. “Practicing in the gym is just no replacement for time on the courts, but I am really happy with how the boys are performing.”
The Arrows started the past week’s matches with a 7-0 win over Fairmont in Pipestone on April 19.
In the singles events Tony Wacker won 6-4, 6-3; Ryan Woodbury cruised to a 6-1, 6-2 win; Lucas Zupp posted at 6-0, 7-5 win; and Makhi Winter split two sets 6-7, 7-6 then won the tie-breaker 10-5. In doubles action the pair of Isaac Styles and Cole Paulson and the second doubles team of Jaden Lorang and Owen Minet both won in straight sets 6-0, 6-0; the third doubles pair of Cody Nordberg and Matthew Swenson took away a win with sets of 7-5, 7-5.
Pipestone 3 – Worthington 4
Following the Fairmont win on a cold and windy evening, the Arrows hosted Worthington in much more idyllic conditions on Thursday, April 21. The visiting Trojans came in with a quality and experienced squad featuring 10 seniors on the team of 12. “Worthington was a good test for us. We fell short at 4-3, but it could have easily gone in our favor, ”said Hoppe.
In what turned out to be the decisive match, number three singles player Lucas Zupp opened by taking the first set 6-3, then dropped the second 2-6. The third set for Zupp almost went to a tie-breaker, but he fell 5-7. “He was so close to taking that match-up. He worked so hard and played well, but fell just short, ”said Hoppe.
Notching wins for the Arrows were Wacker at number one singles (6-4, 6-2), and the top two doubles teams of Stiles and Paulson (6-4, 6-2), and Lorang and Minet (6-3, 6-2). Woodbury fell 4-6 then put up a good fight in the second set before falling 5-7. Freshman Makhi Winter and the number three doubles team of Nordberg and Swenson had a tough go and dropped their contests 0-6, 1-6.
Pipestone 6 – Montevideo 1
Saturday, April 23 proved to be a very testing day for the Arrows. Not only did the boys have to worry about the quality of play brought to the courts by their competition, they also had to deal with extreme winds. The event was relocated to Luverne (from Pipestone) due to wet conditions left over from some overnight rain. The relocation allowed for play, but didn’t do anything to avoid the wind.
“We had serves into the wind that would simply hang then fall on our side of the net,” Hoppe said as we explained the challenges. “The windbreak netting in the fence even blew off during the meet.” Regardless, the Arrows were able to muster up a 6-1 win in their match against Montevideo.
The only loss in the match came due to an open spot in the number three singles slot, so of all matches played, Pipestone ran the tables. Wacker came out quick and was consistent in his 6-2, 6-1 win; Woodbury posted a 6-2, 6-4 victory, and rounding out the singles competition was Zupp who won 6-3, 6-4.
The top two doubles teams each won handily not dropping a single set as they each posted 6-0, 6-0 wins. Things were a bit tighter for the team of Nordberg and Swenson, as they went 7-5, 7-5 in claiming their match.
Pipestone 2 – Yellow Medicine East (YME) 5
Following the Montevideo match on Saturday the Arrows faced a better foe in YME. “I think that maybe without the 50 mile per hour winds, that YME match could have been won. Hard to know for sure, but I think we would match up better than the 2-5 outcome, ”commented coach Hoppe. Again the Arrows had an open slot in the third singles position, so started in a deficit before the first serve was made.
The wins on the Arrows side came from the number one and number two doubles teams. Styles and Paulson claimed the win with sets of 6-1, 6-3 while Lorang and Minet posted sets of 6-0 and 6-4. Wacker met stiff competition at the top of the singles matches dropping his contest 0-6, 1-6. Woodbury fell 4-6. 4-6 and Zupp went to a tie-breaker losing 2-6, 7-5 then 10-12 in the tie-break. Nordberg and Swenson had a tight match, but fell 5-7, 4-6.