Wildcats third at state tennis
Singles sweep against Mahtomedi clinches trophy
Going undefeated in the singles matches, Eagan defeated Mahtomedi 5-2 in the third-place match at the state Class AA boys tennis tournament June 6 at the University of Minnesota.
The third-place finish is Eagan’s second best at the state tourney, exceeded only by the Wildcats’ second place in 2010.
Eagan (17-4) got straight-set victories from Zach Ekstein, Drew Nichols and Simon Barnicle at second through fourth singles against Mahtomedi. Brady Radermacher prevailed in three sets at first singles.
At third singles, Andrew Lockhart and Seante Vang did not win a game in the first set before coming back for a 0-6, 7-5, 7-5 victory.
After knocking off defending champion Rochester Mayo 4-3 in the first round, the Wildcats lost to Wayzata 5-2 in the semifinals.
Zach Ekstein and Nichols won singles matches in straight sets against Wayzata. All five of Wayzata’s victories were in straight sets.
Elk River defeated Wayzata 5-2 in the championship match.
Zach Ekstein went 1-1 in the Class AA singles tournament June 7. After defeating Jason Dilly of Becker 6-2, 6-1 in the first round, he lost 6-3, 6-1 to Forest Lake senior Dusty Boyer in the quarterfinals. Boyer went on to win his fourth consecutive Class AA singles championship.
Ekstein, a sophomore who played No. 2 singles for Eagan in team competition, lost only two matches all season – to Boyer and to Bloomington Jefferson’s Luke Robertson in the Section 3AA final.
The Wildcats graduated seniors Andrew Finnegan, Ben Ekstein, Brandon Vuong, Soren Hansen, Lockhart, Radermacher, Vang and Barnicle from their lineup.
Zach Ekstein and Nichols will return to the singles lineup, and juniors Dominic Carlisano, Dylan Mannetter and Ryan Ossell also will be back next season.