Tennis team drops first two matches

Cody Gebur hits a backhand during a singles match against New Ulm Monday, April 8. To see more photos click on the blue button, lower right. (Chuck Kajer Photo)

The New Prague Trojan boys tennis team managed to get in a pair of matches between raindrops and cold weather.

New Prague lost to Albert Lea 7-0 and to New Ulm 4-3 in their first two matches of the season. The Trojans’ match at Mankato West scheduled for Tuesday, April 9, was postponed to Wednesday, April 24. They are scheduled to compete at Waseca on Friday, April 12, and host the New Prague Invitational, with Columbia Heights, Chanhassen and Faribault, on Saturday, April 13.

Tigers 7, Trojans 0 The Trojans had a rough start to their season Thursday, April 4, losing to Albert Lea 7-0.

Coach Robb Morris said No. 4 singles Max Wickander and No. 1 singles Jace Manthe played good matches against strong opponents. Wickander lost in three sets, 6-3, 6-7, 6-2 and Manthe lost in two sets, 6-3, 6-3.

“The rest of the team seemed outmatched by a strong Albert Lea squad,” Morris said. “We learned a lot from the match and hope to make a much stronger showing as the season moves on.

Malachi Smith and Eric Morris were the other singles players. Doubles teams were Kyle Zweber and Nathan Warnemunde, Cody Gebur and Luke Washa and Taylor Breyer and Kyle Rookaird.

Eagles 4, Trojans 3 While the Trojans lost their home opener to New Ulm, 4- 3, Morris was pleased with what he saw from his team.

“We won matches at 2 and 3 doubles and 4 singles, all playing their first matches at those positions,” Morris said.

“Kyle Rookaird won his first ever singles match in three sets, showing significant improvement as the match wore on. Senior Luke Washa and eighth grader Tony Larson dominated their first match together, winning in straight sets, and Team Zweber (brothers Kyle and Nathan) played very well together, winning two of three sets at No. 2 doubles.”

The Trojans were swept at the top singles, but all three played competitive matches. Gebur lost a close match in three sets while Manthe and Wickander lost matches that were closer than the score showed.

The deciding match was at No. 1 doubles where senior Smith and Morris lost in a marathon three-setter in their first match at No. 1 doubles. “It was a great effort for our second match of the season, showing marked improvement from our first match.”

Singles: Manthe lost 6-1, 6- 2; Wickander lost 6-4, 6-2; Gebur lost 6-4, 3-6, 6-3; Rookaird won 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 Doubles: Smith/Morris lost 7-6(7-1), 6-7(7-3), 6-4; Zweber/ Zweber won 7-5, 2-6, 6- 2; Washa/Larson won 6-3, 7- 5