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Boys’ tennis prepares for first Sections match against Apple Valley

Team will play first home match in Sections

Senior+Haim+Lyubeznik+hits+a+forehand+during+practice+in+preparation+for+the+team%27s+first+Sections+match+May+16+against+Apple+Valley.
Senior Haim Lyubeznik hits a forehand during practice in preparation for the team's first Sections match May 16 against Apple Valley.

Senior Haim Lyubeznik hits a forehand during practice in preparation for the team's first Sections match May 16 against Apple Valley.

Noah Deetz

Noah Deetz

Senior Haim Lyubeznik hits a forehand during practice in preparation for the team's first Sections match May 16 against Apple Valley.

The boys’ tennis team finished its regular season with a 6-4 record, according to head coach David Breitenbucher. The team only played ten total matches, earning them the eighth seed in the conference, and is set to play the first Sections match against Apple Valley May 16.

“We are the eighth seed and (Apple Valley) is the nine seed so we get the home match,” Breitenbucher said. “It’s gonna be close but we should win. But you never know, it’s all about the matchups.”

Senior Jojo Tirado predicted confident success for the team.

“We’re gonna destroy Apple Valley. Not even a question,” Tirado said. “Then we’re gonna destroy Blake and we’re gonna win.”

Assistant coach Tyler Foley said he believes the match and conference will prompt more competitive play.

“Last year Apple Valley had a better seed and we played them second round, they were very very good, with very good doubles, but a lot of kids graduated and Apple Valley is actually a lower seed than us this year,” Foley said. “I’m hoping that we’ll win, but I expect us to be a lot more competitive than last year when we played them.”

Sophomore Cory Kleve said from a Junior Varsity player perspective he hopes Varsity will at least take the win first round.

“Hopefully we win the first (Sections match). In practice, we’ve been hitting balls, as many as we can. (I’ve been) just hitting the ball hard, having fun, bettering my swing,” Kleve said.

Breitenbucher reiterated the issues weather has caused for the team but said normal practice to improve the team is in full swing.

“We still haven’t had much practice due to weather,” Breitenbucher said. “The best thing to do at this time of year is have our doubles play matches and our singles either play matches or hit by themselves.”

Tirado said he has felt his own tennis game and his connection with the team improve.

“I’ve been flocking together with the Orioles, practicing my serves volleys forehands, all that good stuff. I’ve definitely gotten better this season,” Tirado said.

According to Breitenbucher, If the team beats Apple Valley, they face number one seed Blake next.

“Blake could win the whole state tournament. If we got there it would be great and we’d compete, but Blake is really good,” Breitenbucher said. “Hopkins was the seven seed and they beat us 5-2, so imagine what’s above Hopkins if Blake is number one. It’s a tough section.”

Foley said the most important part of Sections will be the learning experience the team will take away.

“My expectation just because the majority of our team is so young is we’re gaining experience,” Foley said. “Especially since our second round could be someone like Blake, it would be a very good experience for the guys to play that tough of a team yet this season.”

The team’s first sections match against Apple Valley will be at 3:45 p.m. on May 16 at the St. Louis Park High School tennis courts.

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Boys’ tennis prepares for first Sections match against Apple Valley