After perfect 3-0 start, STMA boys’ tennis suffers 1st loss

By Rob LaPlante

Crow River News Sports


For the second time in 10 days, the St. Michael-Albertville boys’ tennis team posted a shutout win over Cambridge-Isanti.

The Knights followed up a 7-0 home win on April 16 with a 7-0 road win on April 26 at Cambridge.

Junior Denver Robak, eighth-grader Jimmy Li, senior Thor Holstad and sophomore Aaron Dorland all won in straight sets in singles play. Junior Zach House and sophomore John Budde won 6-0, 6-3 at No. 1 doubles. Also winning in straight sets in doubles play were senior Zach Schopf and sophomore Joe Hebeisen at No. 2 and sophomore Taylor Rothstein and junior Josh Alexander at No. 3.

“Jimmy Li really had some nice points and Holstad had a pretty good match that pushed him a little bit and as a senior, I thought he stepped up and pulled out some of those tight points,” said STMA head coach Jim Riles. Li won at No. 2 singles 6-2, 6-1 and Holstad prevailed at No. 3 singles with a 6-3, 6-4 win.

The win improved the Knights overall record to 3-0 and conference record to 2-0.

Buffalo serves up STMA’s first loss

A pivotal Mississippi 8 early season showdown between a pair of undefeated teams ended with Buffalo handing STMA its first loss, with a 5-2 road victory on April 29.

Using the exact same lineup from the previous win, Riles saw his team surrender all three doubles points with the only wins coming from Holstad at No. 3 singles (7-5, 6-3) and Dorland at No. 4 singles (6-3, 1-6, 7-6). The win by Holstad improved his overall individual record to 4-0.

The deciding fourth point in the match came when Buffalo’s top doubles tandem of Adam Hartung and Ethan Fabel defeated House and Budde 6-1, 4-6, 7-5.

“We came in thinking we would probably have to sweep the singles,” Riles said. “Buffalo has always been known as a pretty strong doubles team. They are the team probably picked to win the conference.”

The Knights (3-1 overall, 2-1 conference) were at Rogers on Tuesday afternoon and had a match at home against Monticello on Wednesday (both matches unavailable). Thursday they are at Monticello and they return home Saturday at 9 a.m. to host the STMA Triangular, which includes Sartell, Spring Lake Park and Delano.