By MIKE KASNER
FOR THE PIONEER
The AA No. 10 ranked Orono Spartans boys tennis team had an undefeated week in dual match play as the team prepared for Sectional play next week.
The Spartans hosted Wright County Conference foe Delano on May 2 and won 7-0.
Conner Olsen, John Kasner, Cade Pfeiffer and Emmet Halloran won in singles, while the teams of Robbie Leslie/Matias Maule, Preston Perrill/Alex Berger and Andy Baran/Calvin Goodyear won in doubles.
The next day, the team hosted Section 2AA opponent Shakopee and won 6-1. The Spartans swept the singles without dropping a set, while getting doubles wins from Leslie and Maule as well as Baran and Goodyear.
The Spartans travelled to New Prague for another conference match on May 4.
Coach Tim Arnold juggled his lineup a bit to provide some different experiences for his players.
The No. 1 singles player, Conner Olsen teamed up with his senior co-captain Robbie Leslie and played first doubles. The 6-2, 6-2 win was Olsen’s first high school doubles match in his five-year high school career. Goodyear and Baran continued their winning ways with a straight set win at No. 2 doubles while Berger teamed with sophomore Ben Bissen for an easy win at No. 3 doubles. The Spartans swept the singles as well with Kasner, Pfeiffer, Halloran and Maule all winning in straight sets.
The team travelled to Holy Family to finish the week with a makeup match from an earlier rainout.
Olsen was travelling for a national junior event, which moved everyone up a slot in the singles line up. The results were no different. The boys won 7-0 with singles wins from Kasner, Pfeiffer, Halloran and Goodyear. Doubles wins were from Leslie/Maule, Baran/Berger and Tyler Olsen/Preston Perrill.
The Spartans began the week at the Rochester Century Tournament. The tournament was a series of individual tournaments at each of the singles and doubles positions. The No. 1 singles tournament featured three of the top-six ranked singles players in AA, as well as the No. 5 ranked singles player in Class A.
Olsen took advantage of the day and defeated fifth-ranked Varun Iyer 7-5, 6-2 in the semifinals, which gave him an opportunity to play the No. 1-ranked player in AA, Ben Van der Sman in the tournament final. Van der Sman defeated Olsen in the final. Conner’s win over Iyer raised his ranking to No. 4 for AA singles players as of May 8.
Other notable performances included Emmett Halloran’s runner up finish at No. 4 singles and Cade Pfeiffer’s consolation championship win at No. 3 singles.
Coach Tim Arnold winds up regular season play this week with two conference matches with top-ten ranked teams in Class A, Litchfield and Mound-Westonka and finishes up with Section 2AA opponent Chanhassen before beginning play in Section 2AA the week of May 15.