Before the Brainerd Warriors tennis team squared off against the St. Cloud Apollo Eagles Thursday, Warriors coach Bruce Thompson had an idea of how the meet would shake out.
Thompson had a good feeling that his three doubles teams could get wins, leaving it up to one singles player to come up with a win for Brainerd to capture the victory.
Thompson's vision came true but the singles players failed to come through as Apollo handed the Warriors their sixth straight loss, 4-3.
"We knew we should be able to get the doubles," Thompson said. "It's just the little things that are hurting us right now. Guys have gotten better and they're working. What we really have to focus on is being positive and encouraging and let's get better."
St. Cloud Apollo 4, Brainerd 3
The key: Apollo won all four singles matches while the Warriors swept the three doubles matches.
Next: Brainerd in the Central Lakes Conference meet at St. Cloud 9 a.m. Saturday.
Brainerd's No. 3 singles player Jason Houle and its No. 4 player Sean Switajewski both took their opponents to three sets but couldn't quite seal the wins.
"Houle was up 3-0 in the third set and then 4-1," said Thompson. "Then the Apollo player brings it back to go up 5-4. But we're right there, we can't make it any closer.
"Jason really played two out of three pretty good sets. We swept all the doubles but we just needed a singles point."
Thompson was impressed by the way Houle played. He dropped the first set 6-1, battled back to win the second set 7-5 but dropped a close third set 6-4.
"We didn't capitalize on some of the points (Thursday)," Thompson said. "In Houle's match he got up to the net and just volleyed back to the Apollo kid. We have to put that ball away and finish that point. Houle's a great kid but he's too nice. I'd like to see him more aggressive."
The No. 1 doubles team of Aaron Peeters-Patrick Neihoff wasted little time in winning 6-1, 6-1.
Bryan Seipp and Ryan Imgrund also had little trouble with their opponents, winning 6-3, 6-2 at No. 3 doubles.
Josh Holbrook and Paul Kittelson won the first set at No. 2 doubles, lost the second set on a tie breaker and closed the match with a 6-3 win in the third.
"Aaron and Patrick really played some good points," Thompson said. "Aaron's really improved throughout the year. He's got a real nice kick serve. Patrick has played a lot of singles and this was his first varsity win.
"Holbrook and Kittelson played some good points. Seipp and Imgrund also played well together. They all just have to work on the fundamentals and do the little things right."
St. Cloud Apollo 4, Brainerd 3
No. 1 -- Dan LaFountaine (A) def. Matt Steiger 6-0, 6-1; No. 2 -- Dan Mahon (A) def. Brett Travica 7-5, 6-0; No. 3 -- Micah Bot-Miller (A) def. Jason Houle 6-1, 5-7, 6-4; No. 4 -- Joey LaFountaine (A) def. Sean Switajewski 6-7, 6-2, 6-3.
No. 1 -- Aaron Peeters-Patrick Niehoff (B) def. Tom Carivcau-Dan Heinzen 6-1, 6-1; No. 2 -- Josh Holbrook-Paul Kittelson (B) def. Mike Weslander-Matt Nistler 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3; No. 3 -- Bryan Seipp-Ryan Imgrund (B) def. Spencer Mack-Alex Schwegman 6-3, 6-2.
Conference -- B 1-8, SCA 3-6. Overall -- B 1-10, SCA 4-9. Next meet -- B at Central Lakes Conference tournament at St. Cloud 9 a.m. Saturday.
TROY GUNDERSON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5865.
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