The Shakopee boys tennis team has opened the season winning two of its first three South Suburban Conference matches.
The Sabers won three of four singles matches in a 5-2 home victory over Eastview April 18, while opening the season April 11 by sweeping singles play in a 6-1 triumph versus Lakeville South.
Shakopee’s loss was to No. 9-ranked Lakeville North, falling 7-0 on the road April 13.
The Sabers returned their top-four singles players from last year’s team that finished 5-4 in the SSC (8-8 overall). So Shakopee could make some noise in the postseason if it finds consistent doubles play.
In beating Eastview, the Sabers won two of three doubles matches.
Sophomore Abhay Inampudi and junior Jack Deegan won the No. 1 spot in three sets (6-4, 2-6, 6-4), while sophomore Gaurav Shirole and eighth grader Lucas Wieczorek also earned a three-set win at the No. 3 (7-6, 2-6, 7-6).
In singles, sophomore Anuj Priyadarshi rolled at No. 2 for the Sabers (6-3, 6-2). Junior Aleksi Huson won at No. 3 in three sets (6-7, 6-2, 6-3), while senior Ajay Inampudi rolled at No. 4 (6-0, 6-1).
At No. 1 singles, senior Otarhe Okoh lost a tough three-setter for the Sabers (6-4, 4-6, 6-3).
In the win over Lakeville South, Shakopee won all four singles matches in straight sets. Okoh cruised at the top spot (6-0, 6-0), followed by Huson at No. 2 (6-0, 6-1), Deegan at No. 3 (6-0, 6-0) and Ajay Inampudi at No. 4 (6-0, 6-4).
Doubles wins went to Abhay Inampudi and senior Ethan Dunavan at No. 1 (6-4, 6-4) and junior Ritesh Prabhu and Shirole at No. 3 (7-5, 6-4).
In the loss to Lakeville North, two matches went three sets for Shakopee, but the Sabers were unable to pull them out. Deegan fell at No. 3 singles (6-3, 6-7, 10-5), while Abhay Inampudi and Dunavan lost at No. 1 doubles (6-3, 3-6, 10-1).
The Section 2AA team tournament is not far off. It’s scheduled to start May 16 with the first round, while the title match will be May 23. The singles and doubles tournaments follow.
Eden Prairie is the defending champion, beating Shakopee 5-2 in the semifinals last spring.
This year’s Class AA state tourney will be June 6-9 at the Baseline Tennis Center in Minneapolis. The team tourney is the first two days, followed by the singled and doubles tourneys.
Orono is the defending champion, beating Edina 4-3 in last year’s title match.
The last time Shakopee was represented at state was in 2019 when Alex Kortgard and Tharun Inturi were there in doubles.
Shakopee has had one individual state champion in its history. Jackson Allen captured the Class AA singles title in 2016 en route to playing NCAA Division I tennis at the University of Minnesota as well as at the University of Virginia.