June 16, 2011 at 9:48 a.m.

Lizotte and Rau bow out of state after a 1-2 run

The Chisago Lakes tandem was knocked out by the Gearou brothers of Elk River for the second straight year
Lizotte and Rau bow out of state after a 1-2 run
Lizotte and Rau bow out of state after a 1-2 run

For the second year in a row, Brett Lizotte was in the state tournament. For the second year in a row, he was paired with a Rau brother, this year, Johannes Rau. For the second year in a row, the Gearou brothers of Elk River finished the Chisago Lakes pair off.

Lizotte and Rau opened with a match against senior Sebastian Beermann and junior Matt Schull of Henry Sibley on Tuesday, June 9.

The Sibley tandem took the first set when they won 6-4, and the second set remained close all the way through. At 6-6, the second set headed into a tiebreaker with the match on the line for Lizotte and Rau.

It was another battle in the tiebreak, but the Sibley pair came out on top 7-5 to knock Lizotte and Rau into the consolation bracket.

Rau and Lizotte were sent to the consolation bracket to face Jakob Bartels and Sam Hjelm of Mounds View.

The first set started out a bit rough for Rau and Lizotte. Bartels and Hjelm took a 2-0 lead and broke the Wildcat pairs serve right away. But, Lizotte and Rau rebounded to win the next five points in a row, gaining a head of steam that would be tough for Mounds View to quell.

Hjelm and Bartels earned one more point before the CL duo won the first set 6-3.

Lizotte and Rau stayed hot in the second set, racing out to a 3-1 lead, having broken serve early in the match. But, Hjelm and Bartels won the next four points, swinging the momentum back in their favor as they took a 5-3 lead.

Lizotte and Rau battled back, however, and eventually tied the match at 6-6, sending it to tiebreak.

Hjlem and Bartels took the early lead in the tiebreak, only to have Lizotte and Rau come back and take a lead at 5-4. With both teams playing strong tennis, it was a matter of wills.

Bartels and Hjelm weren't quite ready to go home yet, and they pulled out the tiebreak win 9-7 to send the match to a third set.

In the deciding set, Lizotte and Rau didn't mess around, crushing the Mounds View pair 6-1 and moving on to the next round of consolations.

In the second round awaited eighth graders Sam and Josh Gearou, twins from Elk River.

The Gearou's had finished fourth in the doubles bracket last year as seventh graders, but they were upset in the first round of this year's tournament by Scott Elsass and David Zhou of Eden Prairie.

The Gearou's won their first match in the consolation bracket 7-5, 7-6 (7-4) over Martin Feddersen and Evan Draves of Winona.

Last year, the Gearou's blasted Lizotte and David Rau, 6-0, 6-3 in the second round, and although the Elks' pair came out on top again this year, things were much more interesting.

It looked like it could be an early rout when the Gearou's won the first set in convincing fashion 6-2. But, Rau and Lizotte came out on fire in the second set. They were more aggressive to the net, hitting their corners, and blasting their serves. The turnaround led to a dominating 6-1 win in the second set.

The win left Lizotte and Rau only one set away from playing for the consolation championship. But again, it wasn't meant to be for them, as the Gearou's battled back from the lopsided loss in the second set to win 6-3 in the third set, eliminating Rau and Lizotte.

The Gearou's subsequently moved on to the consolation championship and won 7-5, 62 over Ryan Ness and Mitchel Brandell, their teammates from Elk River.

The Lizotte and Rau brothers era came to an end at Chisago Lakes with a combined record of 28-3, with their only losses coming in two state tournaments. Lizotte and David Rau were 23-1 last year and Lizotte and Johannes Rau were 5-2 this year (Lizotte played primarily with Brian Hynes at first doubles for 2011, and J. Rau played first singles throughout the regular season).

Although both will be sorely missed next year as Lizotte moves on to Bethel College and Rau moves back to his native Germany, there is still plenty of promise for more state tournament glory from the young Chisago Lakes squad.


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