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Legacy's Svihovec takes second in singles at state tennis, Moylan/Mathern third in doubles

Legacy's Svihovec takes second in singles at state tennis, Moylan/Mathern third in doubles

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Corby Svihovec nearly ran the table in 2020.

Legacy's senior standout advanced to the state tennis singles championship match on Saturday, but came up short against Grand Forks Central's Logan Sandberg, 7-5, 6-2.

Svihovec went 12-0 in West Region singles matches, 10-0 in doubles and finished 6-1 at state to cap off a stellar career for the Sabers.

"In the last match, I was just playing my heart out like every point was my last," he said. "It was a lot of fun. I mean, I put everything I had out there. It wasn't quite enough, but it was a great season."

Sandberg, the No. 1 seed from the East Region, was a formidable foe.

"He just stayed in every point. He was able to dictate the points and he made a lot of solid shots," Svihovec said. "He's a great player."

After the match, Svihovec was named the Outstanding Senior Athlete of the Year, the top award each sport offers.

Scott McPherson, head coach of the Sabers, said it was a slam dunk.

"That award goes beyond tennis. Obviously, Corby is a fantastic player, anybody can see that, but that award is about more than just on-court performance," McPherson said. "It's for his overall character and the type of person he is. Other people notice that as well and that's why he won that award. He's so deserving."

Svihovec rolled into the championship match. He dropped just five games in his semifinal match against Blake Triebold of Valley City. Triebold was the No. 2 seed from the East.

"It was definitely a step up from the West Region. Not that there aren't good players in the West, there are. It's just everyone knows how good the players in the East are," Svihovec said. "It was a big challenge but as a team we definitely enjoyed that part of it."

Svihovec was bidding to become just the 11th player from the West to win the singles title since 1960. Former Legacy star Michael Janes was the last to do so in 2018.

"Corby and Michael paralleled each other in so many ways," McPherson said. "What those two young men did for our program was just tremendous."

Also on Saturday, the Sabers' doubles team of Jay Moylan and Nick Mathern placed third.

After falling to eventual state champions Brayden and Jay Panzer of Grand Forks Central, Moylan and Mathern responded with a tight 2-0 win over Sam Murphy and Jett Weis of Grand Forks Red River. Moylan and Mathern took the first in a tiebreaker -- 7-6 (4) -- and closed it out 6-4 in the second.

It was the final match for Mathern, while Moylan is a junior.

"Nick saved his best doubles play for the last match of his senior year. You always hope your seniors rise to the occasion at the most important time and he did that," McPherson said. "He was coming into the net behind his serve and that's not something he's ever really done. He won eight of 10 points doing that. It was great to see him do that."

When 2021 comes, Moylan will be one of the top returning players in the state.

"He was so strong all year for us," McPherson said of Moylan. "We relied on Jay to win for us and he came through so many times."

Saturday's strong showing capped another successful trip to state for the Sabers, who placed fourth on Thursday at the team tournament.

"I was very proud of our effort. Not one time have we had three matches in one day against three of the top teams in the state, but that's what we had on Thursday," McPherson said. "There are so many really good things to look back on with this season. We had a great group of kids and they accomplished an awful lot."

Reach Tribune sports editor Dave Selvig at (701) 250-8246 or david.selvig@bismarcktribune.com

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