May 21, 2004 at 10:43 a.m.
“Seven of our 10 players were named all-conference,” smiled Phil Derksen, Chisago Lakes head boys tennis coach. “It’s great. In my opinion, I think we cleaned house.”
The Wildcats performance was highlighted by the play of their number one doubles team. After finishing first last year, Marcus Burgin and Steve Pieper successfully defended their title, defeating Pine City’s number two doubles team in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1. With the exception of their semifinal match, Burgin and Pieper won all of their matches in straight sets.
Burgin and Pieper weren’t the only Chisago Lakes doubles team making noise. At number two doubles, Joe squared (Joe Schmitt and Joe Thompson) were also named all-conference. After losing their first match of the day, Schmitt and Thompson cruised through the losers bracket, winning their next four matches. All four wins came in straight sets.
The ‘Cats singles play was equally impressive as Phil Beitler, Matt Peltier, and Lars Hayne played their way to all-conference honors. Beitler, the top seeded singles player in the tournament, coasted to a first round win before falling to teammate Matt Peltier in the second round. Beitler went on to win two more matches in the consolation bracket to pick up all-conference recognition. The top eight players, four in the winners bracket and four in the consolation bracket, made all-conference.
As for Peltier, the junior fell in the semifinals in three sets to Daniel Bacigalupi, the eventual tournament champion.
In addition, Lars Hayne, the ‘Cats number three singles, won his first match before falling to Ryan Herm of Foley. Hayne then picked up two more wins, finishing in the top four in the consolation bracket, also earning all-conference honors.
“I was very thrilled,” commented Derksen. “I knew Phil, Marcus, and Steve would probably get it. Everyone else was just an added bonus.”
While the Wildcats dominated as a team, North Branch’s Britt Baumann made his mark individually, advancing to the semifinals before losing to Herm in three sets. Baumann was the only Viking named all-conference.
“Britt lost the first set in a tie-breaker and easily won the second set,” remembered Tom McLaughlin, North Branch head boys tennis coach. “In that tourney, the third set is determined by playing a tie-breaker. Britt played a little on the conservative side during that tie-breaker and lost the match because of it.”
As for the rest of the Vikings, Justin Mahlke and David Stark each picked up first round wins in singles play before being eliminated. On the doubles side, the number two doubles team of Jason Endriss and Ben Forrest were the only ones to register a win. That came in the consolation bracket. However, the two were eliminated a round later.
“Justin continues to improve but lost as close match. David won his first match but lost his next two,” said McLaughlin.
Up next, both the Wildcats and Vikings will try and finish their final touch-ups before sub-sections begin on Monday.
All-Conference Tennis Team: