by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Elk River tennis had a bittersweet tournament Saturday as three of their players notched their 100th win — one in each match — but the team’s winning streak ended at 37 with a 4-3 loss to Burnsville.
“The team had a little celebration for us, with dilly-bars, afterward,” said senior Josh Chuba, who joined the 100-win club with sophomore’s Josh and Sam Gearou. “It was pretty cool to get 100. But we had mixed emotions, because of the loss.”
The Elks (6-1) beat Henry Sibley 6-1 and Forest Lake 6-1 before falling to Burnsville 4-3 in the school’s first-ever match against the Braves. When new rankings came out Sunday, the Elks dropped to No. 9 (from No. 2) with Burnsville at No. 7.
Burnsville won the third set at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles for the last two points to pull out the win. At No. 3, the Elks had a 4-1 lead in the third set but couldn’t close it out.
“It was a hard loss to take, especially after it looking so promising,” said Elk coach Randy Ronning, “but Burnsville is a good team and wanted the win badly.”
Ronning, Elk tennis historian as well as coach, noted that the team record was 42 in a row during the early 60’s when there was no post-season team competition. “We would have liked to have gotten that record,” said Ronning.
Josh Gearou’s 100th win was 6-1, 6-0 over Sibley’s Danny Axelrod at No. 1, Sam Gearou’s was 6-0, 6-0 over Forest Lake’s Sam Hamilton at No. 2, and Chuba’s was 6-3, 6-4 over Burnsville’s Nick Lesser of Burnsville at No. 3.
The remarkable hat trick of century milestones on the same day was achieved by three players early in their fourth year as starters.
Other notable matches Saturday:
Joe Weatherille had “the longest high school set I have ever seen,” said Ronning, against Sibley when he won the first set 7-6 over Noah Farber. It lasted an hour and 50 minutes — just the set, not the match. Needing to get that match done and move on to the next round, both coaches agreed to play tiebreakers for sets two and three, and Farber won them both to earn his team’s only point.
No. 7 ranked Toby Boyer beat No. 2 ranked Josh Gearou 6-4, 6-3 at No. 1 singles.
Sam Gearou outlasted a solid transfer student from Tennesse, Tom McCalie, 6-4, 6-3 in an exciting match against Burnsville at No. 1 singles.
Elks 6, Henry Sibley 1
(1) Josh Gearou, ER, def Danny Axelrod 6-1, 6-0
(2) Sam Gearou, ER. def David Wilton 6-3, 6-1
(3) Josh Chuba, ER, def Adam Dorn 6-2, 6-1
(4) Noah Farber, HS, def Joe Wetherille 6-7, 7-4 tb, 10-2 tb
(1) Nathan Chanthamontry-Logann Burns, ER, def Chris Prokasch-Sam Farber 6-3, 6-3
(2) Tyler Creelman-Noah Steichen, ER, def Steve Malmgren-Cody Dornbusch 4-6, 6-0, 6-3
(3) Zack Delain-Jordan Haack, ER, def Nathan Stamper-Mike Rutzick 7-6, 6-2
Elk River 6, Forest Lake 1
(1) Toby Boyer, FL, def Josh Gearou 6-4, 6-3
(2) Sam Gearou, ER, def Sam Hamilton 6-0, 6-0
(3) Josh Chuba, ER, def Austin Morris 6-0, 6-0
(4) Nathan Chanthamontry, ER, def Eben Matti 6-0, 6-0
(1) Logann Burns-Noah Steichen, ER, def Hunter Shortly-Ross Schultz 6-4, 6-3
(3) Joe Wetherille-Tyler Creelman, ER, def Sam Bostrom-Noah Alm 6-3, 6-1
(3) Zeke Delain-Jordan Haack, ER, def Ben Bowes-Adam Burke 6-3, 6-1
Burnsville 4, Elk River 3
(1) Sam Gearou, ER, def Tom McCallie 6-4, 6-3
(2) Josh Gearou, ER, def Ermi Asfan 6-1, 6-3
(3) Josh Chuba, ER, def Nick Lesser 6-3, 6-2
(4) Floyd Powers, Brns, def Nathan Chanthamontry 6-3, 6-1
(1) Logann Burns-Noah Steichen, ER, def Caleb Robb-Christian King 7-5, 6-4
(2) Drew Lossian-Ben Berglan, Brns def Joe Wetherille-Nick Tran 5-7, 6-4, 6-1
(3) Luke Krogstad-Luke Haddorff, Brns, def Tyler Creelman-Zeke Delain 4-6, 6-1, 7-5