Seniors get first round wins at section tennis

The New Prague High School boys tennis team ended its season on a fairly high note, winning two of four first round matches in the Section 2AA individual tennis tournament Saturday, May 25.

In singles, senior Jace Manthe won his first round match, over Tom Nilles- Melchert of Willmar, 6-4, 2- 6, 6-3.

The doubles team of seniors Malachi Smith and Kyle Zweber won their match over def. Griffin Bibbs and Brendan Loayza of Mankato East 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.

Both were eliminated in the second round, unable to hold their own against players who were coming off of byes in the first round. Manthe lost 6-0, 6-0 to Bill Leitch of Mankato West and Smith/Zweber lost to Bryce Remple and Zac Anderson of Hutchinson, 6-0, 6-0.

“Given our record during the year, it was surprising that we were able to pull off two wins in sections,” coach Robb Morris said. “I think that it shows the value of a good week of practice and hard work before the tournament.”

Morris said many times this spring that his inexperienced team was hampered by the bad weather, which first cut into outdoor practice time early in the season, then prevented the team from getting much practice time later as there were so many make-up matches in the latter part of the season.

“I’m happy for our seniors who were able to go out with a little success. It’s a nice way to end their high school tennis careers.”

Max Wicklander lost his first round singles to Tyler Wambeke of Hutchinson, 6- 0, 6-0, and the doubles team of Luke Washa and Eric Morris lost to Nick Courtney and Isaac Yoakum of Willmar, 6- 1, 6-1.