By MIKE KASNER
FOR THE PIONEER
Orono Spartans singles player, Conner Olsen made it to the quarterfinals of the 2017 AA Minnesota State High School Singles Tournament. Olsen qualified by winning the Section 2AA singles tournament last month. The tournament was held on June 8 and 9 at the Baseline Tennis Center on the University of Minnesota campus.
Olsen opened the tournament against Edina’s John Webb. Olsen dispatched Webb fairly easily, winning 6-2, 6-1 in the morning match.
The win earned him a match against fifth-seeded Maxim Zagrebelny from Eagan.
Zagrebelny, a sophomore, won the consolation bracket in the 2016 tournament, and is ranked No. 157 in the country for players aged 16 and under by the United States Tennis Association. Zagrebelny played well and won more of the critical points in a closely contested match and prevailed over Olsen 6-4, 6-2.
East Ridge senior Ben Van der sman won the title defeating Rochester Mayo’s Sebastian Vile 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5) to win it all. The match featured the Tournament’s top two seeds with top seeded Van der sman taking the prize. Olsen finished the season with a 19-2 record with his loss to Zagrebelny and an earlier season loss to Van der sman being the only blemishes on an incredible record for the season.
The Minnetonka Skippers defended their team title defeating East Ridge 4-3 in the final, the same score as the Skippers beat the Spartans in the Section 2AA final.
Coach Tim Arnold was very pleased with his programs great season and encouraged his players to put forth the effort over the summer and fall to take the program to the next level in 2018.
“This team has the talent and has a great opportunity in the next few years to build a sustained reputation in Minnesota high school tennis,” Arnold said.