Cardinal netters serve 5-2 loss to Bucs

RUNNING FOREHAND — Fairmont first singles netter Tyrell Zieske taps a running forehand return toward the net during Big South Conference dual tennis action Thursday at the Cardinal Courts. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — It seemed many of the Cardinals didn’t want to stay out in the cold for long.

Fairmont beat Blue Earth Area 5-2 in boys tennis action Thursday at the Cardinal Courts in Fairmont, with Fairmont taking the needed four points to win in an hour and a half.

The Cardinals’ second doubles combination of Evan Carlson and Aaron Hendricks were the first Fairmont players to get off the courts and get warm when they beat the Bucs’ combo of Jonathan Hill and Max Loge, 6-1, 6-1. Carlson and Hendricks were able to warm up after just 57 minutes of play.

The first doubles combo of Pete Ortega and Jeb Green were next off the court after 64 minutes of action when they beat the BEA tandem of James Greer and Jack Barke, 7-5, 6-1.

Eight minutes later, Thomas Klanderud claimed fourth singles for Fairmont with a, 6-2, 6-3, win over BEA’s Vern Johnson.

With the Cardinals ahead 3-0 overall and holding one-set leads on the remaining singles courts, it seemed the meet would be decided quickly, but the Bucs’ singles players came back to create hard-fought matches.

Tyrell Zieske claimed the fourth team point and the win for Fairmont with a, 6-4, 6-4, win at first singles over Jack Frundt. Frundt and Zieske traded sequences of games in each set, with Frundt going ahead, 3-0, in the first set, then Zieske coming back to tie at three before Frundt went up, 4-3, and Zieske came back to take the final three games and finish with a 6-4 win.

Zieske went ahead 3-0 in the second set, then Frundt came back to go up 4-3 before Zieske once again took the final three games.

Zieske claimed victory an hour and a half after his match’s first serve.

Fairmont head coach Eric Johnson said this meet was a good learning experience in continuing to play through the final point.

“We had some really good performances mixed in with ones we weren’t as happy with,” Johnson said. “We’ve got to give Blue Earth credit, they’ve improved a lot, I could tell from their scores from other matches that they’ve been getting better and that was clearly displayed today. … We learned that you can’t take your foot off the accelerator, there’s no time clock in tennis and you have to play all the way to the final ball because both players still have a chance to win.”

The third doubles team of Joe Frundt and Jamie Johnson took the first team point for BEA when they beat Fairmont’s Jack Hagen and Ian Fortune, 6-3, 6-4.

On the second and third singles courts, first-set Fairmont wins turned into third-set battles.

At second singles, Ameya Komaragiri took a, 6-2, first-set win, then went ahead 4-3 in the second set before Parker Kienitz battled back to take the second set, 6-4. Kienitz then took the final set, 6-1, to earn BEA a second team point.

BEA head coach Konny Wolff said she was happy to see her young team continue to improve.

“I thought we played fairly well,” Wolff said. “We’ve been missing a few guys due to illness and our No. 2 has been sick and he pulled it off, so overall we played fairly well.

“Parker (Kienitz), the No. 2, he’s the one who’s been under the weather and I’m really surprised at how well he played in the third set. Nick (Frundt) has had a few close matches, but they always seem to go the other team’s way. I thought he competed well, he’s only a ninth grader. With three seventh graders on the team, we’re getting better, but it’s taking some time.”

At third singles, Blake Haugen took a, 6-3, first-set win and went up, 5-2, in the second set before Nick Frundt won five consecutive games to win the second set, 7-5. The pair battled in the third set, trading games to get to 3-2 Frundt, before Haugen won the final four games to take the match.

“Blake was just playing great, the kid they have at three was playing well,” Johnson said. “Blake, that was a match that was under control and he kind of let it go. He could have easily let the third set go, but he kept fighting and trying to find positive stuff.

“We’ll use that as motivation for others, as much as he was struggling, he was able to get his mind right and play through it.”

Fairmont (6-7) heads to Cotter for a 5:15 p.m. meet today, while BEA hosts St. Peter at 3:30 p.m. today.

VARSITY RESULTS

Singles: Tyrell Zieske (F) def. Jack Frundt, 6-4, 6-4. Parker Kienitz (BEA) def. Ameya Komaragiri, 2-6, 6-4, 6-1. Blake Haugen (F) def. Nick Frundt, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3. Thomas Klanderud (F) def. Vern Johnson, 6-2, 6-3.

Doubles: Jeb Green-Pete Ortega (F) def. James Greer-Jack Barke, 7-5, 6-1. Evan Carslon-Aaron Hendricks (F) def. Jonathan Hill-Max Loge, 6-1, 6-1. Joe Frundt-Jamie Johnson (BEA) def. Jack Hagen-Ian Fortune, 6-3, 6-4.

Exhibition: Calvin Farrow-Gannon Haase (BEA) def. Parker Vetter-Ethan Grunewald, 4-2, 4-3.

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