ST. JAMES - The Section 2A, No. 3-seeded St. James Saints downed the No. 6-seeded Fairmont Cardinals, 5-2, in the opening round of the postseason team tournament on Monday in St. James.
The Saints (10-5) advances to face No. 2-seeded St. Peter in the sectional team semifinals at noon Wednesday at the Swanson Tennis Center on the Gustavus Adolphus campus in St. Peter.
Fairmont (2-12) will play host to Chanhassen in a nonconference meet at 4 p.m. today.
Grant Becker took a straight-set victory at the No. 1 singles spot, while Sterlin Johnson and Tyler Head teamed for a two-set victory at the No. 2 doubles spot to garner the Cardinals' two meet points.
Grant Becker, who avenged last month's three-set loss to St. James' Connor Olson in dual-meet action, posted a 6-3, 6-4 win over Olson in Monday's sectional meet.
Sterlin Johnson and Head each played singles the last time the Cardinals met the Saints. This time, as a duo, Johnson and Head managed a 7-5, 7-6 (8-6) win over the Saints' second doubles team of Connor Engel and Cole Skow.
After winning the first set of the second doubles match, Sterlin Johnson and Head found themselves trailing 40-15 in the sixth game, losing 4-1.
Fortunately for the Cardinals, Johnson and Head rallied to win five of the last seven games to send the second set to a tiebreaker.
In the tiebreaker, Johnson and Head outlasted Engel and Skow 8-6 to take the meet point.
The Saints though took three singles wins and a pair of doubles victories to claim the meet.
John Foss and Kilian Wehde each earned singles victories at the No. 2 and 4 spots, respectively. Foss defeated Ryan Busche and Wehde downed Jake Kallenbach by identical 6-1, 6-1 scores.
Brock Mueller downed Mitch Anderton 6-4, 6-3 at No. 3 singles for the Saints.
Will Runge and Aldair Trujillo teamed to defeat J.T. Viesselman and Andrew Johnson, 6-2, 6-0, while Eric Heitz and Michael Hedlund beat Carter Klanderud and Austin Becker, 7-5, 6-2, to complete St. James' winning efforts.
Section 2A Team Meet
St. James 5, Fairmont 2
Singles: Grant Becker (F) d. Connor Olson, 6-3, 6-4. John Foss (SJ) d. Ryan Busche, 6-1, 6-1. Brock Mueller (SJ) d. Mitch Anderton, 6-4, 6-3. Kilian Wehde (SJ) d. Jake Kallenbach, 6-1, 6-1.
Doubles: Will Runge-Aldair Trujillo (SJ) d. J.T. Viesselman-Andrew Johnson, 6-2, 6-0. Sterlin Johnson-Tyler Head (F) d. Connor Engel-Cole Skow, 7-5, 7-6 (8-6). Eric Heitz-Michael Hedlund (SJ) d. Carter Klanderud-Austin Becker, 7-5, 6-2.