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Redwood Valley edges Fairmont tennis, 4-3

ON THE MOVE — Fairmont fourth singles player Sebastian Castro approaches the net before hitting a forehand winner on the move during a Big South Conference tennis meet against Redwood Valley on Tuesday at the Cardinal Courts in Fairmont. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)

FAIRMONT — Good to the last shot.

Fairmont and Redwood Valley split the first six matches of their Big South Conference dual tennis meet on Tuesday, leaving the final outcome to the survivor of a back-and-forth No. 1 singles clash.

Redwood Valley junior Andrew Muetzel outlasted Fairmont junior Jack Hagen during a hard-hitting, three-set top singles battle to squeeze out a 4-3 victory for the visiting Cardinals in Fairmont.

“Jack did a nice job of coming back to win the second set after losing the first one,” Fairmont head coach Eric Johnson said prior to the pivotal three frame.

Muetzel posted a 6-2 win over Hagen during the two aces’ initial set before Hagen literally caught a break — a hard-struck return that trickled over the net for the game-winning point — to seal an early 1-0 lead in the second set.

Hagen maintained that momentum to earn a 6-3 second-set victory to force a decisive third segment with the team ledger at three matches apiece.

Muetzel then captured a closer-than-the-final-score-indicated 6-1 third set decision over Hagen to claim the dual’s final tally.

“So close,” said Johnson.

Sebastian Castro and left-hander Dominick Lund-May staked Fairmont to an early 2-0 lead in the team score by sweeping their way to back-to-back shutout set wins at fourth and third singles, respectively.

Castro collected the hometown Cardinals’ first team tally by coasting by Redwood Valley’s Quinn Kramer, while Lund-May hardly allowed a point in downing Ben Jorgenson.

Jacob Zollner countered for Redwood Valley by posting back-to-back 6-0 set wins over Carter Quist at No. 2 singles before Drew Lundeen and Kanyon Hicks evened the dual meet at 2-all by defeating Fairmont’s Noah Vetter and Olivia Ortega at first doubles, 6-3, 6-3.

Simone Castro and Anthony Stegge then regained the upperhand on the scorecards for Fairmont by besting Melayna Nez and Yzykiel Rendon at third doubles, 7-5, 6-1.

Redwood Valley’s Marco Ramos and Cole Johnson, however, knotted the team ledger at 3-all by netting a 6-0, 7-6 (8-6) second doubles victory over Fairmont opponents Oliver Thedens and Wylee Frederiksen.

Fairmont (0-7) travels to Schroeder Courts in Blue Earth on Thursday for a 4:30 p.m. league dual against Blue Earth Area.

Redwood Valley 4,

Fairmont 3

Singles: Andrew Muetzel (RV) def. Jack Hagen, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1. Jacob Zollner (RV) def. Carter Quist, 6-0, 6-0. Dominick Lund-May (F) def. Ben Jorgenson, 6-0, 6-0. Sebastian Castro (F) def. Quinn Kramer, 6-0, 6-0.

Doubles: Drew Lundeen-Kanyon Hicks (RV) def. Noah Vetter-Olivia Ortega, 6-3, 6-3. Marco Ramos-Cole Johnson (RV) def. Oliver Thedens-Wylee Frederiksen, 6-0, 7-6 (8-6). Simone Castro-Anthony Stegge (F) def. Melayna Nez-Yzykiel Rendon, 7-5, 6-1.

Blue Earth Area 4, St. James 3 — Joe Frundt rallied for a three-set victory at fourth singles to help the Bucs net a 4-3 team triumph over the Saints during Big South Conference action on Tuesday in St. James.

Zech Ciske garnered the opening set by a 6-2 decision before Joe Frundt bounced back to reverse the second set’s score in his direction — 6-2 — to force a third segment. Frundt outlasted Ciske in the decisive set, 6-4.

Nick Frundt and Vern Johnson generated Blue Earth Area’s other two points in the singles division. Nick Frundt bested St. James opponent Preston Wegner at the No. 1 position in the lineup, 6-0, 6-3, while Vern Johnson served a 6-0, 6-4 loss to Andrei Rivera during second singles play.

The Bucs’ Devin Haase and Seth Stevermer combined court skills at No. 1 doubles to produce a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Payton Brown and Vince Brown.

Adam Rodriguez and Devon Olson outslugged Brady Lorenz and Jerry Passe during second doubles action, 6-3, 7-5, for the Saints, while teammates Christian Pineda and Dylan Reid captured a 6-1, 6-3 win over the Bucs’ Seth Mathews and Calvin Farrow at the No. 3 position in the doubles bracket.

Brennan Kern delivered St. James’ lone singles point by fending off Jamie Johnson at the third spot in the bracket, 6-3, 6-4.

Blue Earth Area plays host to Fairmont at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Schroeder Courts in Blue Earth.

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