Tom's Pick: Unseeded Tech likes its position at state tennis

Tom's Pick: Unseeded Tech likes its position at state tennis

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Tom's Pick: Unseeded Tech likes its position at state tennis

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MINNEAPOLIS

St. Cloud Tech girls tennis Paul Bates is in favor of seeding the state Class 2A tournament.

And that’s coming from someone whose program failed to earn a seed when the pairings were announced last week.

“I like it,” Bates said. “Sometimes it may favor some teams down in the Cities.

“But I think it’s going to get the best matches as the state tournament. If that’s what we’re aiming for, it gives that a chance to happen.”

Tech opens team tournament play at the state tournament at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Baseline Tennis Center on the University of Minnesota Campus. The Tigers play third-seeded Prior Lake in the quarterfinals.

Play continues Tuesday and concludes with the championship final at 4 p.m. Wednesday. Every squad is guaranteed two matches.

Class 2A girls tennis was seeded for the first time this season. It’s part of a two-year experiment to see if it should be implemented permanently, Bates said.

Coaches from the eight state qualifiers ranked their opponents and the top five seeds were announced. In most sports that use coaches seedings at state, they have announced only the top four.

After the seeds are figured out, the three unseeded teams are randomly selected to round out the field.

Bates likes where Tech is positioned. For one, it’s opposite No. 1 Edina, which is the overwhelming favorite to repeat as state champion. The Hornets have won 15 state titles in a row and play Elk River in the first round.

The rest of the tournament has No. 2 Minnetonka playing Stillwater and No. 4 Rochester Century facing No. 5 Mounds View.

Tech is in the same bracket as the Minnetonka-Stillwater match. Tech has played two of the teams in the field. The Tigers lost 4-3 to Minnetonka on Sept. 11, though the Skippers were missing two singles players that day.

Tech also lost 4-3 to Elk River on Oct. 1.

It’ll be a great experience for the Tigers, who have no seniors in their starting lineup.

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