Chaska Tennis

Josh Mueller and Zach Curtis will be playing doubles for Chaska on the court this spring.

The Chaska boys tennis team has had more matches postponed than it has played so far this spring.

The cold weather has wreaked havoc for many teams across the metro, but the Hawks did manage to get in two Metro West Conference matches. Chaska lost 7-0 to St. Louis Park in the season opener April 19 and then fell by that same score at Waconia two days later.

The Hawks have had to postpone four other matches, including at Mound Westonka April 25.

Chaska coach Zachary Williams has five returning players from last year — seniors Ben Sampson and Jack Kelly, juniors Aidan Trauger and Manny Marston, and sophomore Ben Curtis. He’s hoping sophomore Josh Mueller, ninth-graders Zach Curtis, Morgen Engeman and Evan Atkinson, and junior Jackson Sperry will step into bigger roles.

Orono is the team to beat in the Metro West. The Spartans are ranked No. 3 in the state in Class 2A behind Lake Conference powers Edina and Wayzata, respectively.

Orono won the Section 2AA title last season, but the Spartans were moved to Section 5AA this spring when the Minnesota State High School League reclassified sections for all sports.

Minnetonka and Eden Prairie look to be the top contenders in Section 2AA, along with Prior Lake.

The rest of the field includes Hutchinson, Chanhassen, Shakopee, Mankato East, Mankato West, Mound Westonka, New Prague, New Ulm, Waconia and Worthington.

It will be tough for Chaska to contend for a state team spot. The program has qualified for state twice as a team, the first time coming in 1998 and the second one in 2000.

Can the Hawks get a singles player or doubles team to state? That bigger goal for Williams is to “continue to develop a love for tennis through competition and enjoyment.”

Williams said he will hold “each individual to high standards as well as high team standards in the classroom and on the court.” From there, it’s simply a learning process.

“We will reflect on what went well in each match as a team and individually and demonstrate growth going into the next practice or match,” he said.

Williams said the strength of the team is its experience in both singles and doubles.

“This allows me to try different lineups throughout the season,” he said. “We also have a lot of similar guys, which is good for seeing where guys fit before our section play happens.”

Chaska will end the regular season May 12 at home versus Orono.

Section 2AA team play starts May 17 with the first round. The semifinals and title matches are set for May 24 as Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter.

The section singles and doubles tournaments start May 27 with the semifinals and title matches for both May 31 at Gustavus.

This year’s Class AA state tournament is set for June 7-10 at the Baseline Tennis Center in Minneapolis. The team tournament is the first two days, followed by the singles and doubles tourneys the next two days.

Tom Schardin covers sports for Savage and Prior Lake. He is dependable, sarcastic and always joking around. Tom enjoys running and swimming and is often busy coaching his two kids' sports teams.

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