Antigo Boys Tennis Triangular at Wausau East
FROM COACH DAVE ZALEWSKI
The season finally arrived for the Antigo Boys Tennis Team and they did not disappoint. Without a single day of practice on the Ellison courts due to snow, the boys came out swinging. “I was very proud of the way the team performed. The last two weeks we practiced indoors at the middle school gym. That is very different from playing on the hard courts. So this was their first time playing outdoors. On top of that, when we arrived at Wausau east, there were frozen puddles on the courts and half their nets were not up. But the guys didn’t complain and being the first team to arrive, they got right to work, getting a feel for outdoor play. Making matters a little more difficult, I didn’t have much of an idea for the line-up, with half the team being new players. So I made the roster on the fly as I observed how they played while hitting before other teams arrived.”
Antigo first faced off against the Altoona Railroaders. All the boys started off a little rusty, but soon gained traction and started playing well. Antigo dominated the singles, without a player dropping a single set. But Altoona handily won all the doubles. None the less, this gave the Red Robins a 4-3 team win. “Four out of my six doubles players had never played a varsity match and yet they competed.”
Wausau East was only able to field seven players. Antigo switched up the lineup, and once again the singles players easily defeated their east opponents, again not dropping a single set. But the new doubles lineups proved much more competitive and provided some very entertaining tennis, both matches going the distance. At 2 doubles, two players new to Antigo varsity tennis were paired against Isaac Halding and Andrew Franklin of East. In a see-saw battle, the two teams went back and forth with East taking the first set, 6-3. Antigo gained the upper hand in the second, 6-4 and ran out of gas in the third, losing it 4-6. “Ezra Santiago, only a freshman, and Landon Nelson, new to tennis, had never played together and did a fantastic job”.
In the most competitive match of the day, Antigo veterans Nolan Bunnell and Calvin Jensen paired up against a solid East team, Brett Kohl and Chui Seng Chang. The Antigo duo started out tough, boggling their opponents. But East came storming back to sneak out the second set 6-4. All four boys were tired, but chose to play out the third set instead of playing a ten point tie break. As luck would have, the boys would end up playing a tie break, but only after fighting to a 6-6 set. Antigo quickly fell behind 1-4 in the seven point tie break. But Bunnell and Jensen would not be denied and won the next 3 points. With the score tied, the teams split the next four points but at 6-6, the Robins grabbed two consecutive points to seal the tie breaker, 8-6 and secure the tightly contested win.
It was a great way to start the season. Not only were the results encouraging, the team’s attitude in the midst of unfavorable circumstances was impressive.
Antigo’s next meet is at Stevens Point Pacelli on Thursday.
Here are the results of the East match. East didn’t have their team up yet on tennis reporting.
Garrett Husnick defeated Ted Schlindwein 6-1, 6-1
Sam Bretl defeated Jacob Schneider 6-4, 6-3
Cole Umland defeated Elliot Harding 6-2, 6-1
Jensen and Bunnell defeated Brett Kohl and Chui Seng Chang 6-0, 4-6, 7-6 (8-6)
Landon Nelson and Ezra Santiago lost to Isaac Halding and Andrew Franklin 3-6, 6-4, 4-6
Antigo 4, East 1