It’s not one or two things that stand out about Andy Peterson’s tennis game. The recent Hall-Dale High School graduate makes sure to focus on the fundamentals when he plays a match. That’s entirely by design.

“As long as you can do all the basic things, you can have the upper hand in a lot of matches,” Peterson said.

A two-year standout at first singles for Hall-Dale, Peterson was a key to another successful season for the boys tennis team. The Bulldogs went 11-1 in the regular season, then advanced to the Class C South regional finals. Peterson also reached the Round of 48 in the state singles tournament.

For his efforts, Andy Peterson is the Kennebec Journal Boys Tennis Player of the Year.

Hall-Dale coach Dan Bence said Peterson became a model for his teammates to emulate.

“As a senior, we expected the leadership we got from Andy,” Bence said. “Our other players would watch him and say, ‘I want to hit the ball like that.'”

Peterson played doubles his first two seasons with the team. When he was a junior, the work Peterson put in playing in the offseason paid off and he made the jump from doubles to No. 1 singles.

“I focused on the fundamentals, because a lot of guys don’t do that,” Peterson said.

Peterson’s game is solid, Bence said, particularly a strong kick serve. Peterson’s serve has plenty of topspin, Bence explained, so when it hits the court, it quickly bounces high and out of the range most players are comfortable hitting the return shot.

“He can hit every shot. His serve is terrific,” Bence said.

Two of Peterson’s biggest wins this season came against the same opponent, Noah Toussaint of St. Dominic. In each match, Toussaint won the first set, 6-2. In each match, Peterson followed with a close win in the second set and a dominant win in the third to take the match. Peterson said he found a Toussaint weakness during each match and he was able to exploit it.

“I’m able to change my strategy throughout the match,” Peterson said. “I found he didn’t like long points.”

With that in mind, Peterson played to just extend the rally, hoping Toussaint would make the mistakes. The strategy worked. The wins played out as they often did, with Peterson clinching the win for the Bulldogs.

“He’s the last guy on the court, so the match is really in his hands,” Bence said.

That individual aspect of the team sport is one of the things Peterson loves about tennis, he said. He plans to attend Cedarville University in Ohio, where Peterson hopes to try out for the tennis team.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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