FAIRMONT - With St. James taking the first five matches, Fairmont's Grant Becker and Austin Becker battled to three sets at first and fourth singles, respectively, to try to stymie the Saints' sweep in South Central Conference tennis action in Fairmont on Monday.
Unfortunately for the Beckers, their opponents -Connor Olson and Sandin Skow - held on to claim both victories, completing the Saints' 7-0 victory.
"If we look at St. James' experience, they are just older and have more of it than our team," said Fairmont head coach Eric Johnson. "They were just a more experienced team than us, and today it showed."
FOREHAND RETURN — Fairmont second singles player Sterlin Johnson connects on a forehand return from the baseline during a South Central Conference dual tennis meet on Monday at the Cardinal Courts. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
After dropping the opening set 6-3, Grant Becker responded to take the second set 7-6 (7-5) in a tiebreaker.
With the momentum in his favor, Grant Becker then sent a sizzling serve out wide and volleyed Olson's return cross-court to take the lead with the score 3-3 in the third. Grant Becker took the one-game lead with an ace serve down the middle, making it 4-3.
Both Olson and Grant Becker held their serves in the ensuing games, giving Becker a 5-4 lead and serving for the win.
Olson countered and broke Becker's service game and held his own to take the 6-5 lead before sealing the final game victory on a long rally point for the 7-5 result.
Austin Becker also worked his way to a third set against Skow. Becker won the first set 6-4, but Skow rebounded quickly and took the 6-1 second-set win.
Becker continued to battle through the third set, returning four of Skow's shots at the net for volleys, but was unable to take back the lead, falling 6-2 in the third.
Sterlin Johnson traded games back-and-forth with the Saints' second singles player John Foss in the opening set. Foss eventually took the 7-5 win, and followed that with a 6-0 second-set victory.
"I thought that Sterlin was playing well in the match, he was doing some good things," said Johnson.
Kilian Wehde claimed a 6-2, 6-2 win over Tyler Head at third singles to complete the sweep of the singles bracket for St. James.
Michael Hedlund and Erik Heitz teamed up for 6-0, 6-0 shutout victory at third doubles over Fairmont's Tony Joseph and Jake Kallenbach.
Will Runge and Aldair Trujillo defeated J.T. Viesselman and Andrew Johnson 6-3, 6-3 at first doubles, and Connor Engel and Cole Skow completed the shutout with a 7-5, 6-3 win at second doubles over Ryan Busche and Carter Klanderud.
"Today, we weren't serving very well, and we were making improvements in each of the last two meets, but this one is disappointing," said Johnson. "The great thing is this team won't settle for this. They will come out hungry tomorrow and we'll keep getting better."
Fairmont (1-4, 1-2 SCC) plays host to Blue Earth Area in a 4:30 p.m. SCC dual meet today at the Cardinal Courts in Fairmont.
St. James 7, Fairmont 0
Singles: Connor Olson (SJ) d. Grant Becker, 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 7-5. John Foss (SJ) d. Sterlin Johnson, 7-5, 6-0. Kilian Wehde (SJ) d. Tyler Head, 6-2, 6-2. Sandin Skow (SJ) d. Austin Becker, 6-4, 1-6, 6-2.
Doubles: Will Runge-Aldair Trujillo (SJ) d. J.T. Viesselman-Andrew Johnson, 6-3, 6-3. Connor Engel-Cole Skow (SJ) d. Ryan Busche-Carter Klanderud, 7-5, 6-3. Michael Hedlund-Erik Heitz (SJ) d. Tony Joseph-Jake Kallenbach, 6-0, 6-0.
St. James 5, Fairmont 1
Singles: Jay Meyer (SJ) d. Kellen Rodriquez, 5-4, 4-2.
Doubles: Colin Hoppe-Adrian Torres (SJ) d. Andy Hagen-Mitch Anderton, 4-1, 5-3. Thor Henderson-Moises Ramerez (SJ) d. Shawn Busche-Calvin King, 4-1, 4-0. Hagen-Joseph (F) d. Paul Hansen-Jacob Carr, 4-1, 4-1. Aaron Pluym-Zach Piper (SJ) d. Shawn Busche-King, 4-1, 4-2. Juan Cardenas-Juan Solorzano (SJ) d. Ben Hernes-Connor Madsen, 4-2, 4-5, (7-2).