Tennis Tigers defeated but not deflated at Rochester Mayo

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 25, 2003

ROCHESTER &045; Like a lot of Big Nine boys’ tennis teams, the Rochester Mayo Spartans have enjoyed their share of success against the Albert Lea Tigers.

But at least they’re nice about it.

&uot;This is the best group of sports I have seen in the Big Nine,&uot; said Tigers coach Sean Gillam.

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&uot;They handled themselves with class, the way they treated our players on the court, and that hasn’t always been the case with some teams. They definitely are a classy group.&uot;

They’re also an undefeated group, the latest win a 7-0 shutout of the Tigers at Rochester Thursday.

While outclassed as a team, Gillam said the Tigers played some surprisingly strong tennis despite a lineup that was missing several regulars. The Spartans’ lone absentee was their No. 2 singles player.

&uot;I told the team, ‘If we play this well against a team like this, we should be able to play with the rest of the teams on our schedule,’&uot; said Gillam.

The closest match was No. 2 doubles, the only spot where Albert Lea had its regular players. Micah Holt and Corey Dieser lost 6-3, 6-2. Freshmen Andrew Dyrdal and Greg Peterson fell 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1 doubles while Kurtis Bohrnstedt and Paul Marlin lost 6-1, 6-1 at No. 3.

Sophomore Conner Keyeski was defeated 6-0, 6-0 at No. 1 singles but, according to Gillam, took the first three games of the match to deuce. Sophomore Dustin Trail lost 6-0, 6-0 at No. 2, freshman Jon Hatcher fell 6-0, 6-1 at No. 3, and eighth-grader Andrew Haatvedt lost 6-3, 6-1 at No. 4.

&uot;All those young players really stepped up,&uot; said Gillam. &uot;They hustled, and they showed me they can handle adversity.&uot;

The Tigers travel to Waseca for a nonconference meet on Monday.