Otters edge Sabres 4-3Published 11:01am Wednesday, May 1, 2013
The Otter boys tennis team came home to a windy and cool evening of tennis after a close 3-4 loss to Willmar the day before. This time it was the Otters turn to win the hotly contested deciding match and leave the Broadway and Athletic Park courts with a tough 4-3 win over the Sartell Sabres. Fergus Falls did it with their singles line-up, winning all four singles matches and losing all three doubles matches.
At No. 1 singles, state ranked (8th in class A individuals) Jesse Schneeberger continued his personal undefeated streak, disposing of Sartell’s Brandon Schuchard 6-1, 6-3. Schuchard actually led early in the second set before Schneeberger turned it up a notch and took the last four games. David Schneck, undefeated also this year, had a similar match at No. 2 singles, winning 6-1, 6-3 against Jared Frost of the Sabres. It was a high level match with excellent shot-making, even in the windy conditions and after an early let-down in the second set Schneck powered through to take that set and the match. At fourth singles, Sam Steen went back and forth with his opponent Daniel Muntifering, being up, then being down in each set, but controlled his shots better and kept balls in play better in the late games of each set to pull out a 6-4, 6-4 victory.
The match of the day took place at third singles between the Otters’ Jordan Schneeberger and the Sabres’ Brandon Yurczyk. It was a classic match-up of a serve and volley net player (Yurczyk) against a baseline counter-puncher (Schneeberger). The first set went to Schneeberger 6-2 as Yurczyk was missing some of his net shots early on, but he picked up his play and started placing his net shots well to come back to win the second set in a tie-breaker 7-6 [7-1]. But in the third set Schneeberger picked up the pace on his shots and started hitting more lines and corners with rocket passing shots that took the steam out of Yurczyk’s net attack, to pull away for a 6-2 third set win that gave the Otters the 4th point they needed to win the team match.
In doubles the No. 1 team of Jason Burns and Nathan Kaminski-Horak were overpowered by a strong pair for the Sabres, 6-0, 6-1. The second doubles team of Brady Anderson and John Makielski kept it close in the first set but eventually fell in their match 7-5, 6-2. The third doubles match was close in every game and could have gone either way, but the Sabre team prevailed over Cody Drake and Jake Steen of the Otters 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
“I was proud of the efforts of our singles players today in carrying this match,” commented Otter coach Norm Newell. “Jesse Schneeberger and David Schneck played high level matches in the windy conditions and picked the right times to go for their shots and the right times to play safe to achieve nice wins. Sam Steen was mentally tough to come back in both sets after trailing early, essentially just getting more balls in play than his opponent in the pressure games to take his match. I really liked Jordan Schneeberger’s heart and determination after losing the second set to come back and play even stronger in the third set, hitting some real hard-ball passing shots to control the third set and win the deciding match. “
In JV play, winning in doubles for the Otters were Nick Houge and Tyler Hobbs, along with Austen Tabbut and Mike Mortenson.
Fergus Falls 4, Sartell 3
Singles – 1. Jesse Schneeberger (FF) over Brandon Schuchard (S) 6-1, 6-3; 2. David Schneck (FF) over Jared Frost (S) 6-1, 6-3; 3. Jordan Schneeberger (FF) over Brandon Yurczyk (S) 6-2, 6-7 [1-7], 6-2; 4. Sam Steen (FF) over Daniel Muntifering (S) 6-4, 6-4.
Doubles – 1. A.J. Fleming & Ben Morine (S) over Jason Burns & Nathan Kaminski-Horak (FF) 6-0, 6-1; 2. Ethan Lorsung & Carl Minnerath (S) over Brady Anderson & John Makielski (FF) 7-5, 6-2; 3. Joe Pawlenty & Aaron Heinen (S) over Cody Drake & Jake Steen (FF) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.