FAIRMONT - St. Peter proved why it earned the No. 8 spot in the Class A boys tennis team state rankings.
The Saints swept the doubles bracket in straight sets to help pace a 6-1 triumph over a vastly-improved Fairmont Cardinals lineup during frigid South Central Conference dual-meet action at the Cardinal Courts.
Manuel Martinez, who garnered one of the Cardinals' two points during a season-opening loss at Austin on Monday, prevented a Saints' sweep.
BASELINE RETURN — Fairmont singles player Sterlin Johnson hits a backhand return from the baseline during tennis action Tuesday at Cardinal Courts. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)
The smooth-hitting Martinez displayed his resiliency by outdueling Zeke Haugen in a three-set marathon slugfest at No. 2 singles.
Martinez and Haugen traded the lead back-and-forth in their opening set before Haugen edged Martinez in the tiebreaker, 7-4, for the 7-6 victory.
Fairmont's foreign exchange student from Spain, however, bounced back to net back-to-back set decisions, 6-1 and 6-4, to claim the Cardinals' only point.
Tyler Head, who captured Fairmont's other point against Austin a day earlier, posted a 6-0 first-set victory over St. Peter's Rafat Solaiman at third singles.
Solaiman, however, regrouped during the changeover and reeled off back-to-back 6-3 set decisions to salvage the point.
"I thought both Manuel and Tyler did a nice job of adjusting to their respective opponents today," said Fairmont head coach Eric Johnson. "Manuel's game continues to rise with each match and that should help us as a team overall."
St. Peter's Matt Huber posted a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Sterlin Johnson at first singles, while the Saints' Drew Elofson downed Austin Becker, 6-3, 6-1, at the No. 4 spot in the singles lineup.
Alex Willson and Avery Bachman clicked on all cylinders in generating back-to-back 6-1 set wins over Carter Klanderud and Jake Kallenbach at No. 1 doubles, while Saint teammates Ben Gault and Joseph More nearly duplicated that margin of victory via a 6-1, 6-2 decision over Henrique Marquez and Calvin King at second doubles.
Aaron Leeb and Kaelan Weiss completed St. Peter's doubles sweep by producing a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Ryan Busche and Mitch Anderton at the No. 3 spot.
Fairmont (0-2, 0-1 SCC) travels to St. James on Thursday, while St. Peter (4-0, 1-0) plays host to Blue Earth Area at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter.
St. Peter 6, Fairmont 1
Singles: Matt Huber (SP) d. Sterlin Johnson, 6-1, 6-2. Manuel Martinez (F) d. Zeke Haugen, 6-7 (4-7), 6-1, 6-4. Rafat Solaiman (SP) d. Tyler Head, 0-6, 6-3, 6-3. Drew Elofson (SP) d. Austin Becker, 6-3, 6-1.
Doubles: Alex Willson-Avery Bachman (SP) d. Carter Klanderud-Jake Kallenbach, 6-1, 6-1. Ben Gault-Joseph More (SP) d. Henrique Marquez-Calvin King, 6-1, 6-2. Aaron Leeb-Kaelan Weiss (SP) d. Mitch Anderton-Ryan Busche, 6-3, 6-0.
St. Peter 7, Fairmont 2
Doubles: Zeke Kyoore-Tanner Peterson (SP) d. Tony Joseph-Andy Hagen, 3-5, 5-2, (7-5). Bradyn Klubben-Dylan Evenson (SP) d. Shawn Busche-Ben Hernes, 4-0, 4-1. Kellen Rodriguez-Connor Madsen (F) d. Cody Kurth-Joseph Siebels, 4-1, 1-4, (9-7). Bailey More-Omar Abdiasis (SP) d. Eric Head-Andrew Zhang, 4-1, 3-4, 7-5. William Miller-Casey Osborne (SP) d. Tyrell Zieske-Blake Haugen, 4-3, 4-1. Hunter Braun-Andrew Artmann (SP) d. Evan Carlson-Christo Washa, 4-0, 4-0. James Kelley-Mikinley Prafke (SP) d. Collin Stone-Matt Moeller, 4-0, 4-3. Tony Joseph-Andy Hagen (F) John Lee-Bennet Madden, 4-0, 4-0. Chandra O'Brien-Matthew Pettis (SP) d. Blake Haugen-Tyrell Zieske, 4-3, 4-3.