How sweet it is! The Lakers’ boys’ tennis team knocked off top-seeded Thief River Falls to win the Section 8A tournament and earn a trip to the state tournament. Way to go Lakers! Photo by Jim Palmer

The Minnewaska boys’ tennis team enjoyed familiar environs on Tuesday as they hosted the Section 8A tournament.

May 24 at Minnewaska

Section 8A team tourney

Minnewaska 6 East Grand Forks 1 

The Section 8A quarterfinals pitted the #2 seeded Lakers against the #7 seed from East Grand Forks.

Minnewaska took a 6-1 win behind a sweep of the singles matches. Tate Reichmann prevailed in the #1 singles spot, taking a 6-0, 6-0 win. Damon Uhde was in the #2 singles slot and won in two sets, as did Ethan Quelle at #3 singles. Drew Bleick made the most of his opportunity at #4 singles, rebounding from a shaky 6-2 loss in the first set to win the next two sets convincingly, 6-0, 6-2.

Nik VanDyke and Tenzin Dahl teamed up for a two-set win at #1 doubles, as did Connor Quelle and Noah Palmer at #2 doubles.   

May 24 at Minnewaska

Section 8A team tourney

Minnewaska 6 Crookston 1 

Next up for the Lakers was Crookston, playing in the section semifinals.

Despite what appeared to be an easy 6-1 win, two of those wins required three sets. 

Gannon Walsh dropped the first set at #2 singles, 7-5, but found his stride and easily won the next two sets by 6-0 and 10-3 scores.

The #1 doubles team of Nik VanDyke and Damon Uhde also started slowly, falling in the first set, 6-2. They won a tight second set, 7-5, then went on to take the third and final set, 10-8.

Tate Reichmann took another 6-0, 6-0 win from his #1 singles spot.   

May 24 at Minnewaska

Section 8A team tourney

Minnewaska 4 Thief River Falls 3 

With a trip to the state tournament on the line, Minnewaska took on the #1 seed, Thief River Falls, in the Section 8A finals late on Tuesday morning.

The Prowlers had just defeated the Lakers by a 5-2 score just five days earlier. It would take something special to flip the match into Minnewaska’s favor.

The teams sent out the same lineups as the previous match on May 19.

In the previous match, only Tate Reichmann and Ethan Quelle had won their matches. Reichmann and Quelle repeated those results on Tuesday, although Quelle required three sets, instead of two, to take his #3 singles match.

The Prowlers had swept the doubles matches on their way to victory on May 19. On Tuesday the #1 doubles tandem of Nik VanDyke and Damon Uhde flipped their match, winning handily, 6-3, 6-3, where they had lost in three sets previously.

With the team score tied, 3-3, the final point would come from the last match still on the court. The #2 doubles match would decide the champion of Section 8A.

Sophomore Connor Quelle and freshman Tenzin Dahl, were teamed up at #2 doubles for the Lakers. The Minnewaska duo had won the first set by a narrow 7-6 margin. The Prowler pair took the second set, 6-4, setting up a third and deciding set. Quelle and Dahl broke out to an early lead and went on to a 6-2 win, giving Minnewaska the Section 8A title and with that, a trip to the state tournament.

The win against Thief River Falls was the 20th victory of the season for the Lakers, against only five loses. 

May 26 at Minnewaska

Section 8A individual tourney

The individual portion of the Section 8A tournament was held at the Minnewaska tennis courts on Thursday.

Tate Reichmann and Tenzin Dahl competed in singles for the Lakers. Reichmann was slotted as the #2 seed while Dahl was seeded #13 in the 16-person field.

Reichmann  won his opening match by a 6-0, 6-0 score, but Dahl dropped his first match in two sets and was eliminated.

As expected, Reichmann won his next two matches in straight sets to reach the championship round against the top seed, Isaac Maddock of Osakis. 

The two teams had met on May 11, with the Lakers winning, 6-1. The lone win for Osakis was by Maddock, over Reichmann. The result and the score was the same on Thursday as it was 15 days earlier, with Maddock taking a 6-1, 6-0 sweep.

The top two finishers from the individual tournament qualify for the state tournament, so Tate Reichmann will be participating as an individual and as a part of the Minnewaska team.

Minnewaska placed two doubles teams into the individual tournament. Nik VanDyke and Damon Uhde had played many matches together as the Lakers #1 doubles team. Also competing for Minnewaska was the brother duo of Ethan and Chad Quelle.

VanDyke and Uhde were seeded #4 while the Quelles were the #6 seed.

VanDyke and Uhde won both their opening match and their quarterfinal match in straight sets. In their semifinal match the tandem fell to the eventual champions from Thief River Falls, Jack Onkka and Dylan Hahn. Onkka and Hahn played as the #1 and #2 singles two days earlier in the team competition, won by the Lakers.

Ethan and Connor Quelle followed a similar path as their Laker teammates, winning their opening round and quarterfinal match in straight sets. In the semifinals the brothers fell to a tandem from Thief River Falls, JJ Cornelius, and Rhett Janisch. Cornelius and Janisch had lost in the section championship match to the Lakers’ Nik VanDyke and Damon Uhde. But on Thursday the Prowler pair knocked off the Quelle brothers to advance to the finals.  

The championship match was contested between two doubles teams, both from Thief River Falls. Likewise, the third place match was contested between Minnewaska teammates. VanDyke and Uhde played the Quelle brothers for third place. The Quelles prevailed, 6-2, 6-4, to wrap us a very successful Section 8A tournament for Minnewaska.

The Lakers’ team advances to the state tournament, while Minnewaska had a second and third place finish in the individual portion of the tournament.

Congratulations to the Minnewaska boys’ tennis team on their Section 8A win!