Minnewaska No. 1 singles player Tate Reichmann had just won a 6-3 first set over fellow Section 8A contender Isaac Maddock of Osakis on Tuesday evening, and he looked to be on his way to cruising in the second set.
It was a 3-0 lead for Reichmann before Maddock turned the tables and won the next four games. “Slow down,” Reichmann whispered to himself on the court.
“Once I feel like I start to lose it a little bit, I just have to get myself to slow down,” Reichmann said after doing just that and winning the match 6-3, 7-5. “Eventually, l did slow down. My coaches really helped me. My mom, (Lakers’ head coach Tara Reichmann), she likes to calm me down. She just says keep your composure.”
The matchup between Reichmann and Maddock was the key contest in Minnewaska’s 7-0 win over Osakis on Tuesday. Both guys are sons of the head coaches of their teams. They grew up around this game and are now two of the top singles players in the section.
“It was a lot of fun to play Tate,” Maddock said. “He’s very good competition for me. I haven’t gotten to play in a lot of matches over the past three, four weeks because of quarantine, so it’s nice to be able to just play again.”
Maddock did not have COVID-19 himself, but he has been one of many Osakis athletes who have had to quarantine in recent weeks due to coming in close contact to someone who tested positive. He was out for 12 days and tried to stay sharp with his game at home as much as he could.
Maddock, a sophomore who is 5-1 now, was atop the lineup in Osakis’ match against Perham on May 10 and got a 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 win over a good opponent in Josh Peterson. His match against Reichmann, a junior who is 14-1, was his toughest challenge of the season to this point.
“This was the best thing for both of them,” Tara Reichmann said. “There are a lot of teams where you don’t get that level of competition. They are fun to watch because they’re just quality players. Getting a quality match like that at this time of year is awesome.”
Reichmann’s only loss this spring came against a non-section opponent in Litchfield’s Alex Draeger. Reichmann said Draeger just played better than him that day, but he was eager to get in another competitive match against Maddock.
“This is really good for me. It’s fun to battle,” Reichmann said. “It shows you that there’s people who can keep up with you, and you just need to keep getting better. Keeping the ball low (was key). (Isaac) has pretty good slice shots too, but he likes to rush the net a lot. Down the line shots really worked well, but you can’t get them all.”
Maddock felt like his rally in the second set came from settling down and having fun.
“I saw a lot of good things in myself, and he was hitting some really good shots,” Maddock said. “He was playing really well, so I just need to up my game a little bit more from where it’s at.”
Reichmann responded quickly from his 4-3 deficit in the second set to win the next two games. Maddock tied things at 5-5, but Reichmann went up 6-5 and then escaped needing a tiebreaker when Maddock’s backhand return from the back, left corner of the court fell short of the net.
Reichmann made the state tournament in singles two years ago, and his coach has enjoyed watching the growth in him since.
“He does keep his composure a lot better this year,” Tara Reichmann said. “It just makes him a more solid player. He definitely has matured in the last year as a person and a player.”
Isaac and Tate stood at the net and talked for a few minutes after the match was over on Tuesday evening. It’s two players who respect each other, and who hope to see each other again down the road in the section singles tournament.
“I know I can play with Tate,” Maddock said. “It will be a lot of fun if we get to play again. I’m very excited for it.”
Lakers too much team depth
Minnewaska had more team depth than Osakis as the Lakers swept both lineups overall.
The longest match of the day came at second singles where the Lakers’ Gannon Walsh beat Osakis senior Logan Grove 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.
“I was proud of all of our guys’ efforts against one of the stronger teams in our section,” Osakis head coach Ryan Maddock said. “We knew this year would have some bumps as a first-year team and today was one of those days. I am happy that our guys keep a good attitude and keep trying and don't give up. Logan and Isaac were in very competitive matches. You have to give Tate and Gannon credit for their play in winning those top two singles matches.”
Ethan and Connor Quelle added singles wins for Minnewaska. Nik VanDyke and Damon Uhde teamed up to win at first doubles, and Logan and Aiden Maanum took the second doubles spot.
“We’ve done very well, and our kids have been very excited to play,” Tara Reichmann said. “They’ve worked hard at practice. I just see a lot of positive things coming out of this. I feel like teammates are closer. Maybe because they’re having the opportunity to spend time together again. That’s the key to this year that there is a great team atmosphere.”
MINNEWASKA 7, OSAKIS 0
SINGLES - No. 1 - Tate Reichmann (M) def. Isaac Maddock, 6-3, 7-5; No. 2 - Gannon Walsh (M) def. Logan Grove, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4; No. 3 - Ethan Quelle (M) def. Jacob Uhl, 6-0, 6-1; No. 4 - Connor Quelle (M) def. Jacob Taplin, 6-0, 6-0
DOUBLES - No. 1 - Nik VanDyke/Damon Uhde (M) def. Connor Gulbranson/Marcus Wolf; No. 2 - Logan Maanum/Aiden Maanum (M) def. Bryce Moen/Tyler Stier, 6-2, 6-0; No. 3 - Konner Hanson/Noah Palmer (M) won by forfeit