Back in the swing of things

NEW ULM – It’s been a frustrating season to say the least for any spring sports athlete in Minnesota.

With snow and rain forcing more cancellations and postponements than in any recent spring, the New Ulm boys tennis team has dealt with practicing indoors a majority of the time, working on little things that they normally wouldn’t get a chance to spend a lot of time on.

The Eagles improved to 3-2 on the young season with a 6-1 victory over the Cardinals on Tuesday. It was the second meet of the year with Redwood Valley in a season that’s seen more missed action and practices than usual.

For New Ulm No. 3 singles player Josh Koelpin, it’s been tough, but he managed to pick up a straight set victory on Wednesday, winning 6-2, 6-2 over Redwood Valley’s Max Russell.

“It’s been tough to get full practice in, we’ve been going down to Washington [Elementary school] and working on some of the short game stuff but it’s been a while since we’ve been able to take some full strokes,” Koelpin said.

Koelpin has taken advantage of the extra practice, which allows him to work on some of his short game.

“I?think it helped to get some extra practice on that rather than just take strokes,” Koelpin said.

Although the Eagles did manage it get a rare meet in, there were some doubts as snow again hit the area on?Monday night. New Ulm was hit with 2.5 inches Monday, leaving some doubts to weather Tuesday’s event would happen at all.

“I wasn’t sure we were going to play to day,” Koelpin said. “During sixth hour of the day, our AD [Athletic Director] told us that we were going to play, so then you just kind of gotta get yourself mentally up for it,” Koelpin said. “I was excited to get back out there and playing, so that helps.”

He didn’t look like he had any rust at all, winning his match in less than an hour. He admitted he has some kinks to iron out yet, but that’ll get better as the season progresses.

“I don’t think I played 100 percent, but that’ll come with time,” Koelpin said. “Obviously they’ve had the same situation we have, so I felt pretty good as I was warming up and I played pretty decent today.”

The only loss for New Ulm on the day was at No. 1 singles, where Alex King lost 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (7-4). Cal Collum Jr. won 6-2, 6-2 over Tyler Hagen.

Noah Stocker also won at No. 4 singles, picking up a 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 victory over Shawn Sherman.

New Ulm was dominant at doubles also. Isaiah Johnson and Nic Gartner won 6-1, 6-0 at first doubles and Billy Griffith and Sam Frederickson won 6-0, 6-3 at No. 2 doubles. John Goodall and David Stuk won 6-1, 6-1 at No. 3 doubles to complete the 6-1 victory.

New Ulm (3-2, 0-2 in South Central Conference) gets back to action Friday at Chaska.

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