by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Elk River and Andover tennis teams braced themselves against snowfall, biting wind, and low-30’s temps to play a long-delayed conference opener for each on Monday on the ERHS courts.
The defending state champion Elks won 7-0, with one match, No. 1 doubles, finished indoors at Daytona courts. The teams started shortly after 4 p.m., hoping to beat the latest April snowstorm.
“I’m amazed we got that match in,” said coach Randy Ronning. “As long as we’ve got good footing, we can play. Teenage athletes have a higher metabolism than older people and they’re able to keep a lot warmer. And all these guys just love to play.”
With all the snowflakes fluttering around them, it was “like a fantasy-land match,” he observed.
Ronning noted that Andover is a competitive team that should finish around .500, with a pair of good single players and a solid one-doubles team, so the 7-0 score was quite satisfying.
This was only the second match for the Elks, who beat Stillwater 4-3 indoors on April 6. They have been outside just nine days so far (one match, seven practices, one scrimmage) with just one decent day, that being for the scrimmage against Buffalo.
The coach noted that the Elks will miss out on several intriguing match ups due to all the cancelations.
“We schedule the best non-conference teams we can get,” said Ronning. “Eleven of the 15 teams in the first rankings were on the schedule … we won’t get to play five of them now.”
The Elks had seven matches called off last week. There are seven on the schedule for this week as well — including duals Monday through Thursday and a home quadrangular on Saturday. With the weather rumored to be ready to warm up later in the week, they are hoping to get three or four of those matches in.
They are scheduled to play at Coon Rapids on Tuesday.
Elks 7, Andover 0
(1) Sam Gearou, ER, def Peter Jones 6-0, 6-0
(2) Josh Gearou, ER, def Wes Leisner 6-0, 6-0
(3) Joe Wetherille, ER, def Mitchell Ries 6-0, 6-0
(4) Nick Tran, ER, def Corey Finger 6-0, 6-1
(1) Josh Chuba-Nathan Chanthamontry, ER, def Grant Johnson-Erik Jones 7-5, 6-2
(2) Logann Burns-Noah Steichen, ER, def Nate Thelen-Luke Leisner 6-2, 6-1
(3) Zeke Delain-Jordan Haack, ER, def Ben Fellerman-Isaac Doppenerg 6-1, 6-1