By Victoria Dahlin
Determination got the first win of the season for the North Branch boys tennis players who won 4-3 over visiting St. Francis last Thursday.
At #1 singles, Petar Kosivic kept his focus after losing 0-6 in the opening set. He went on to win the next two sets (6-1, 6-3).
Cole Lee, at #3 singles, started out fast to win 7-5 but lost the second set 2-6. He was able to regain his composure to come back and take down his opponent in the third set 6-2.
Taehuum Yoon at #4 singles won the first match of his career (6-2,4-6,6-3) and left it all on the court. He was so exhausted after his victory that his teammates helped him off the courts.
Last, but not least, #2 doubles team Eric Chilstrom and Tim Courtright fought an epic battle. After losing the first set 2-6, they played their hearts out in the second to overcome their adversaries 7-6 and force a tie breaker. Facing two match points the Chilstrom and Courtright were able to fight and win 10-8. In the final set, the pair outlasted their opponents and earned a 6-3 victory.
“A hard won victory!” said Coach Chad Brusky. “We had five three set matches and were able to pull off four of them. All four of our points came from the determination of our players in the third set. It was very impressive to see the boys play with such conviction. No one ever gave up. I am very happy with the win, but more impressed by the character of the boys. They never gave up, always held their head high, and in the end that might have made all the difference.”
Earlier in the week the team hosted and narrowly lost 4-3 to Columbia Heights May 1.
At #3 singles Lee won 6-4, 6-2, while #1 doubles team James Strzelecki and Jacob Helbig defeated their opponents 6-2, 6-7(9-11), 6-4 and #2 double team Eric Chilstrom and Tim Courtright won 5-4, 7-5.
“This came down to one match for us,” said Coach Brusky. “Cole Lee had a great match and rolled in straight sets. The same was true for Eric Chilstrom and Tim Courtright. James Strzelecki and Jacob Helbig played a great three set match and earned a tough win. The team showed great growth, and I am happy with the continued growth of the team.”
On April 27 the team traveled to Fridley and fell 7-0, hosted and lost 7-0 to Benilde-St. Margaret’s April 26, and fell 7-0 at Irondale April 24.
The North Branch boys tennis team has a 1-11 overall record. The Vikings will travel to Cambridge-Isanti High School to face the Bluejackets at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 17.