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Pipestone Area netters edge Fairmont, 4-3

TEAMWORK — Fairmont’s Thomas Klanderud (left) extends to connect for a backhand winner as first doubles playing partner Ameya Komaragiri backs up the play during Big South tennis action Monday in Fairmont. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — The Pipestone Area Arrows overcame the Fairmont Cardinal’s rearranged lineup.

The dual meet came down to a nearly two-and-a-half hour match at second singles between Fairmont’s Ian Fortune and Pipestone Area’s Will Rops.

The pair fought to three sets that all ended within two games, with Rops claiming the final of the three to give the Arrows a 4-3 Big South Conference tennis win over Fairmont at the Cardinal Courts in Fairmont on Monday.

Fortune and Rops fought to a tie at 5 games in the opening set, then Fortune took consecutive games to build a 7-5 first-set win.

Rops then opened a 5-0 lead in the second set, but Fortune was able to win four consecutive games before Rops ended the set with a 6-4 win.

The pair then tied at four games each in the final set before Fortune took a 5-4 lead. Rops was able to take three consecutive games to finish the match with a 7-5 win.

“They weren’t playing their best, and they were playing players who really like to just hit it back and make you miss,” Fairmont head coach Eric Johnson said of Fortune and third singles netter Parker Vetter. “For the most part, they handled that very well and were right in there until the end. It was a very good day for those two.”

Vetter moved up from his usual first doubles position to take a win at third singles.

Vetter needed every point possible to beat Pipestone Area’s Ryan Woodbury.

He started the match with a 6-2 win in the first set, then went ahead 4-3 in the second set. Woodbury rebounded to take three consecutive games for a 6-4 second-set win.

The pair then tied at 4, 5 and six before going to a tiebreaker, which Vetter claimed via a 7-3 margin to tie the meet at three team points apiece.

Jack Hagen moved up from his usual third singles position to take on Pipestone Area’s Tony Wacker at the No. 1 spot.

Hagen cruised to a 6-1, 6-2 win to claim Fairmont’s second team point.

The Cardinals’ first team point came at first doubles, where usual top singles players Ameya Komaragiri and Thomas Klanderud paired for a 6-1, 6-2 win over Isaac Stiles and Cole Paulsen.

“We mixed things up because we needed to try some different possibilities and combinations,” Johnson said. “We weren’t playing our strength against their strength. Given that, we were right in it until the end with a chance to win and I’m pretty happy with that. We saw some growth out of Ian (Fortune) and Parker (Vetter), Jack (Hagen) played very well, which was very encouraging. And it was nice to see Ameya (Komaragiri) and Thomas (Klanderud) go out there and play really, really well. … It was good to get a little different look.”

The Arrows earned their first team point at fourth singles.

Lukas Zupp swept his way to a 6-0, 6-0 win over Sebastian Castro, another of the Cardinals’ usual doubles players who moved up in the lineup.

Jaden Lorang and Owen Minet then took a team point for Pipestone Area with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Noah Vetter and Carter Quist at second doubles.

Cody Norberg and Chase Wilson claimed the Arrows’ third team point with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Dominick Lund-May and Oliver Thedens, putting Pipestone Area ahead 3-2 with only Parker Vetter and Fortune remaining on the courts for the Cardinals.

Fairmont (8-6) goes to Kutzky Park in Rochester to face Schaeffer Academy in a rescheduled matchup from April 27.

Pipestone Area 4,

Fairmont 3

Singles: Jack Hagen (F) def. Tony Wacker, 6-1, 6-2. Will Rops (P) def. Ian Fortune, 5-7, 7-5, 6-4. Parker Vetter (F) def. Ryan Woodbury, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3). Lucas Zupp (P) def. Sebastian Castro, 6-0, 6-0.

Doubles: Ameya Komaragiri-Thomas Klanderud (F) def. Isaac Stiles-Cole Paulsen, 6-1, 6-2. Jaden Lorang-Owen Minet (P) def. Noah Vetter-Carter Quist, 6-4, 6-1. Cody Norberg-Chase Wilson (P) def. Dominick Lund-May-Oliver Thedens, 6-3, 6-2.

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