Rain delays Big Nine tennis tournament

Published 9:16 am Monday, May 12, 2014

Rain interrupted the Big Nine Conference boys’ tennis tournament, but it wasn’t before two doubles teams made a dent in the bracket.

At No. 1 doubles, Albert Lea’s Carter Dahl and Collin Jahnke beat Winona 6-3 and 6-0 in the first round and Owatonna 7-5, 2-6 and 6-4 in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Dahl and Jahnke were playing Rochester Century when play was suspended.

“Carter and Collin played two awesome matches to reach the semis,” said Albert Lea coach Tom Dyrdal.

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Albert Lea’s No. 2 doubles team — Garrett Matz and Foster Otten — was also playing in the semifinals when play was suspended. The duo entered the tournament with a 7-1 conference record to take the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye. The team beat Owatonna 6-3 and 6-1 to reach the semifinals against Mankato West.

Andy Woitas and Austin Dulitz — Albert Lea’s No. 3 doubles team — lost against Mankato West in the first round and were playing a consolation match when play was halted, Dyrdal said.

In singles action, Taylor Herfindahl has a chance to keep chipping away at the consolation bracket. Herfindahl, Albert Lea’s No. 1 singles player lost against Rochester Mayo in the first round in three sets but avenged a loss last week against Kieran Townsend of Mankato West to win 6-1 and 6-1. When play resumes, Herfindahl will be in the consolation finals.

“Taylor played his best tennis of the year today,” Dyrdal said. “He served well and was totally on his game.”

The tournament will continue at 2:30 p.m. today. If it can’t be finished today, Dyrdal said the remainder will be canceled.