by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Mitchel Brandell joined the 100-win club as the Elk River-Zimmerman tennis team blanked Anoka 7-0 at home on Tuesday.
Brandell, a junior in his fifth varsity season, won 6-0, 6-0 over Mark Schatza at No. 3 singles, improving to 15-2 this year.
“Mitchel was a very rare starter as a seventh grader,” said coach Randy Ronning. “I’ve had him since second grade (giving lessons) and he could have played varsity in the fifth grade with the teams we had then.”
Brandell was always a consistent winner and became a much more physical player the last two years.
“He has gotten so tall — for a long time he was such a little guy,” said the coach. “He has a really big serve.”
Brandell is a better doubles player than singles player but not by much, said the coach, estimating that his 100 wins are about 50-50 each way.
All four singles matches were 6-0, 6-0, the second time the Elks have done that. They had another match where they gave up just one game in singles.
The Elks are 8-0 in the NWSC with two matches left, and 15-2 overall. They can clinch at least a share of the championship when they host Andover on Thursday.
Elks 7, Anoka 0
(1) Sam Gearou, ERZ, def Brent Verke 6-0, 6-0
(2) Josh Gearou, ERZ, def Austin Cooper 6-0, 6-0
(3) Mitchel Brandell, ERZ, def Mark Schatza 6-0, 6-0
(4) Ryan Ness, ERZ, def Matt Langlais 6-0, 6-0
(1) Zak Steichen-Josh Chuba, ERZ, def Joey Evavold-Jake Johnson 6-2, 6-3
(2) Dylan Berger-Jesse Bragg, ERZ, def Brendon Randall-Adam Thomas 6-1, 6-2
(3) Nathan Chanthamontry-Levi Howse, ERZ, def Tom Skinner-Aaron Atkins 6-2, 6-2