A pair of third-set victories at the top two singles positions lifted the Faribault boys tennis team to a 4-3 victory against Winona on Tuesday afternoon at Faribault High School.
At No. 1 singles, senior Andrew Chou bounced back from an opening set loss to win 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 against AJ Appicelli.
“AJ liked power while Andrew did well to place his shots and controlled the points along with the rhythm of the match,” Faribault coach Jeff Anderson said. “AJ did well to use his power throughout the first set while it took Andrew a bit to find his game today.”
After that first set, Anderson said Chou did a nice job of controlling the play in the second set to win a number of hard-fought points.
After Chou and Appicelli traded the first 10 games in the third set, Chou held serve to take a 6-5 lead before breaking Appicelli’s serve to claim the decisive seventh game in the third set and the match.
“Andrew mixed up his shots well from heavy topspin to short slice to move AJ up and back on the court,” Anderson said. “With match point on the line Andrew did really well to take an impressive serve from AJ and block it back with his backhand for a short low bouncing ball that AJ was not able to handle.”
At No. 2 singles, the third set was less dramatic but equally important in a 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 victory for Harrison Gibbs against Caleb Ellenburg.
“It seemed the momentum from Harrison’s 2nd set win carried over for him into the third set,” Anderson said. “Harrison continued to serve well and place the ball well moving his opponent around the court. Harrison did not seem affected by the pressure of the 3rd set which was amazing while Caleb seemed to be getting more frustrated with every point.”
At No. 3 singles, Brandon Petricka continued his hot stretch of play to win 6-4, 6-3, with Anderson noting Petricka’s adjustment to his opponent charging the net and eventually calibrating his lobs inside the back line and powering winners past his opponent.
At No. 4 singles, Carsen Kramer won a well-travelled 6-3, 6-3 match.
“I think Carsen put on the most miles today of anyone on the court for how much he was moving around the court today,” Anderson said. “He never gave up on a point and did well throughout the match to find his opponent’s holes on the court. Carsen was also serving well today and had a good mix of topspin shots along with some short well placed balls.”
Faribault forfeited the No. 3 doubles match, while the dup of Carson Reuvers and Carter Sietsema lost 6-2, 6-0 at No. 1 doubles, and Buay Lual and Long Duong faltered 6-3, 6-1 at No. 2 doubles.
The Falcons next host New Prague on Thursday afternoon at Faribault High School before traveling to Northfield on Saturday for a triangular that includes Rochester Century.