BOYS TENNIS: East Grand Forks senior grabs first section singles title
Ty Misialek had never won a Minnesota Section 8A singles championship.
“As you could see, I was a little nervous closing it out,” he said.
Despite some hairy moments at the end of the first set and a push from opponent David Schneck at the end of the second, Misialek was able to grab his first section singles title Wednesday afternoon, beating his Fergus Falls opponent 7-6 (5), 6-2 in the finals.
The East Grand Forks Senior High athlete and UND-bound tennis player will head to the state tournament for the third straight season, but for the first time as a section champ.
“It feels amazing,” said Misialek, a senior. “I’ve been pretty close.”
Misialek started strong, racing to a 5-2 lead in the opening set, but dropped the next four games to Schneck to go down 6-5. Misialek held serve to force a first-set tiebreaker, where he fell behind once again.
With Schneck leading 5-3 in the tiebreaker, the Fergus Falls senior floated an overhead long and Misialek won the next three points to close out the set.
“That was a huge point,” Senior High coach Terry Paukert said. “David missed one that he makes nine out of 10. That changed the whole momentum of the match. Ty seized control of the match.”
Misialek said he knew he was never out of the first set, even when he was down 5-3 in the tiebreaker.
“I had a return point,” he said. “I was just thinking that I needed to win that point, then I had two serves. You’re always in it. He ended up missing an overhead, which was huge. That was the turning point.”
Misialek reeled off five straight games to build a commanding 5-0 lead in the second set. After Schneck won two games to start working himself back into the set, Misialek finished off the set.
“I just put my foot on the gas,” Misialek said. “I put enough balls in play and he started missing a couple and I got up early.”
Paukert said: “Ty played well today. There are always a few lapses within every tennis match where you get a push from your opponent. That happened today.
“You always try to tell the kids that you’re never out of it. You’ve just got to focus on the next point and not on the score. So many times, a lot of players are looking at the score. If they are looking ahead, they are not focusing on the point.”
Misialek will head to state in the Twin Cities in two weeks. Then, he will start to prepare for college tennis and the Big Sky.
“I’m really excited,” he said. “UND plays a good schedule and it will be a lot of fun. In the middle of March, (UND coach Tom Wynne) called me and said they wanted me to come play there. I couldn’t pass that opportunity. I’m favored in most of my matches out here. I will not be favored in any of my matches next year. But I’m looking forward to that challenge.”
Schneck won a true second match over teammate Jordan Schneeberger to earn a spot at the state tournament, too.
In doubles, Crookston’s Bobby Tiedemann and A.J. Biermaier beat Thief River Falls’ Hunter Blowers and Jorde Hutton 6-4, 6-0 to win the section championship. Biermaier and Tiedemann did not drop a set in the tournament.
Blowers and Hutton will join Tiedemann and Biermaier at the state tournament.