SL/O doubles team comes up short
STORM LAKE — The Spirit Lake/Okoboji boys tennis team saw its season come to an end at the Class 1A Sectional meet on Thursday.
While SL/O picked a few wins, the closest to advancing to the next round came in doubles where Scott Maudlin, a state qualifier a year ago, and Mason Bergquist reached the semifinals.
The duo opened the day with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory over LeMars then won 6-1, 6-3 over Cherokee before falling 6-1, 6-3 to Spencer. They ended the day falling to Bishop Heelan in the third-place match, 6-1, 6-3.
“I thought that the guys played pretty well overall. We received a pretty tough draw all the way through,” said SL/O coach Dan Taylor. “Both Spencer and Cherokee went with their top players in doubles, rather than singles, which was an unknown going into the tournament.”
“But we felt Maudlin and Bergquist had a very good chance at getting to the finals, regardless of who was in the draw,” he said. “They played well in the semi-final match, especially in the second set, but Spencer just played better in the end of the match.”
In singles, Blake Kleigl opened with a 61-, 6-4 win over Estherville Lincoln Central’s Phil Leffel, but he then lost 6-4, 6-1 to LeMars’ Kyle Koth.
Sam Sieh opened the day with a 6-1, 6-3 loss to Storm Lake’s Jesse Munger.
SL/O’s other doubles team, Mitch O’Neill and Brady Harmelink, also opened with a first-round loss to Spencer, 6-0, 6-1.
“I’m happy with how they all put in a great effort, not just today, but throughout the season,” said Taylor. ” And we have a lot of young players who improved a lot during the season, and I hope they continue to play during the summer, and in the winter before next season, so that next season we can use the fact that we’re returning four varsity players to our advantage.”