Boys tennis: Alexandria's Owen Gilbertson and Cole Haabala punch their ticket to state

The doubles team of Cole Haabala and Owen Gilbertson have earned their spot in the state tournament in June in Minneapolis.

Alexandria's Cole Haabala (left) and Owen Gilbertson (right) take a photo at the Section 8AA Tournament in St. Cloud on May 25, 2023. Haabala and Gilbertson placed second in the doubles at the section tournament and qualified for the state tournament.
Contributed photo by Anne Gilbertson

After winning their subsection bracket in Alexandria on Wednesday, the doubles team of juniors Cole Haabala and Owen Gilbertson continued their hot streak all the way to a state tournament berth.

Haabala/Gilbertson earned second place at the Section 8AA Individual Tournament on Thursday at St. Cloud Tech High School and is set to compete at the MSHSL Class AA State Tournament on June 8-9 at the Baseline Center in Minneapolis.

Gilbertson/Haabala got the finals with a sweep over Monticello’s Wyatt Hanson/Hayden Miller (6-4, 6-2) and then took care of St. Cloud Tech’s Gavin Fenstad/Jonah Atkinson in the semifinals with another sweep (6-1, 6-3).

Gilbertson/Haabala kept things close in their finals match against Becker’s Ryan Bengtson/Eli Scheideman, but Bengston/Scheideman went on to win with a sweep (6-2, 7-6 (4)).

“In the championship match, they faced off against a two-time state entrant doubles team from Becker,” Alexandria head coach Nick Jansen said. “The match started with three long deuce games; Becker took two of those three games. They used that momentum to control the first set 6-2. We battled back, taking the first three games of the second set, but could not keep the two-break lead, dropping the next two games. From there, it was back and forth, with both teams holding serve until a second-set tie-breaker. We went up early in the breaker, but the solid Becker team took advantage of mistakes and was able to win the tie-breaker 7-5.”


Fenstad/Atkinson won the third-place match. Therefore, a true second-place match was unnecessary.

Alexandria’s Blake Svee/Owen Godfrey also competed in the section tournament.

They ran up against Fenstad/Atkinson in the first round.

Fenstad/Atkinson won the match with a sweep (6-1, 6-1).

“Overall, both Cardinal teams competed at a high level and represented Alexandria well,” Jansen said.

Sam Stuve covers a variety of sports in the Douglas County area. He also is assigned to do some news stories as well.
What To Read Next
Get Local