Local players qualify for state tennis

Eastview eighth-grader rolls to Section 6AA singles championship

In recent years, Section 1AA is where Lakeville boys tennis players’ state tournament dreams went to die.

But 2017 has been a breakthrough season for Lakeville players, three of whom advanced through one of the state’s toughest sections to reach next week’s Class AA tournament at the University of Minnesota. Brothers Chase and Hunter Roseth qualified for the doubles tournament and will become the first Lakeville South players to compete at state. Sean Kelly of Lakeville North will be in the Class AA singles tournament. All three qualified with runner-up finishes in the Section 1AA individual tournament, which concluded Tuesday at Lakeville South High School.

Tuesday was a good day for tennis players from other South Suburban Conference schools as three from Eastview, two from Rosemount and one from Eagan also qualified for state. The Class AA singles and doubles tournaments begin Thursday, June 8, at the U of M’s Baseline Tennis Center.

To earn their historic finish in the Section 1AA doubles tournament, the Roseths first had to deal with an uncomfortable situation – playing teammates for a spot in the state tournament. The Roseths defeated Collin Sebring and Adam Harvey of Lakeville South 6-3, 6-2 in a match for true second. The Roseths and Harvey are singles players in team competition for the Cougars, who were ranked as high as third in Class AA and were edged by Rochester Mayo 4-3 in the Section 1AA final. Sebring played on South’s No. 1 doubles team.

The Roseths won three matches in straight sets to reach the doubles final, where they lost to Varun Iyer and Nicholas Aney of Rochester Century 6-3, 6-2. Sebring and Harvey lost to Iyer and Aney in the semifinals but beat another Rochester Century team in the third-place match to earn a chance to play for true second.

North’s Kelly, who earned his first trip to the state tourney, won his first two Section 1AA singles matches in straight sets and defeated Lakeville South’s Trevor Tatge 6-1. 6-1 in the semifinals. Sebastian Vile of Rochester Mayo, the No. 2-ranked player in Class AA, defeated Kelly 6-2, 6-2 in the final. Kelly did not have to play a match for true second after Tatge defeated Jake Bauer of Farmington for third place. Tatge’s third place is the highest finish for any Lakeville South singles player in Section 1AA.

Chase Roseth and Kelly both have more than 100 victories at No. 1 singles for their schools.

Another set of brothers – Rosemount’s Anshul Bharath and Aashish Bharath – won the Section 3AA doubles championship Tuesday at Lifetime Fitness in Lakeville. The brothers will play at state for the second year in a row after defeating Evan Fridinger and Nitin Venkatesh of East Ridge 6-0, 6-2 in the final. The teams were the top two seeds in the tournament.

Top-ranked Ben Van der sman of East Ridge defeated fifth-ranked Maxim Zagrebelny of Eagan 6-2, 7-5 in the Section 3AA singles final. Zagrebelny, a sophomore, qualified for state for the second consecutive year. He breezed through his first two section matches before winning a three-set battle against East Ridge’s Elias Ramirez in the semifinals.

Eastview had the singles champion and doubles runner-up at the Section 6AA individual finals Tuesday at Baseline Tennis Center. Eighth-grader Gavin Young qualified for state for the second consecutive year after defeating John Webb of Edina 6-2, 6-3 in the singles final. Young lost just nine games in four section singles matches, including none in the first two rounds.

Burnsville’s Luke Haddorff lost to Webb in the semifinals but beat Luke Westholder of Edina 6-3, 6-1 for third place.

Eastview sophomore Sourabh Terakanambi and ninth-grader Nisal Liyanage defeated Edina’s Harry Tuttle and Noah Shane 6-1. 6-2 for true second in the Section 6AA doubles tournament, earning their first trip to state. The Eastview duo, seeded third, defeated second-seeded Erik Beckers and Joseph Punnoose of Bloomington Jefferson 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4 in the semifinals before losing to Tristan Fjelstad and Ryan Frost of Benilde-St. Margaret’s 6-1, 6-1 in the championship match.

Young, Terakanambi and Liyanage are the top three singles players in Eastview’s team lineup. The Lightning narrowly missed qualifying for state as a team for the first time, losing to Edina 4-3 in the Section 6AA championship match last week. Eastview won the first set in six of the seven matches in the team final, but Edina came back to win three of those in three sets to take the team championship.