Denison pulls off upset over SL/O
STORM LAKE — Denison came up with the big upset in defeating Spirit Lake/Okoboji in the tean tennis regional semifinal on Saturday.
SL/O defeated Denison 9-0 in the regular season. Saturday, Denison pulled out a 5-4 win.
“This was a tough lose for our girls but I think They had some great accomplishments this season,” said SL/O coach Bob O’Hara. “Going undefeated in the conference and being undisputed conference champions is something that very few people thought they could pull off. Hopefully our two seniors Kassie (Hein) and Kara (Crosgrove) will look back on this season and realize what a great year they had.”
In singles play, Alli Gerkin won 6-1, 6-0 over Holly Brus; Aubry Kolegraff lost 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 to Kristi Esser; Hein lost 7-5, 7-5 to Mackenzie Brus; Cassidy Clarity lost 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 to Jacy Jahn; Crosgrove won 6-4, 6-3 over Kristen Reiling and Shirley Coenen won 6-4, 6-3 over Claudia Martinez.
Tied 3-3 heading into doubles, Gerking and Clarity lost 6-4, 7-5 to Brus and Esser; Hein and Kolegraff lost 6-3, 6-4 to Brus and Jahn and Crosgrove and Kylie Stoll lost 6-2, 6-4 to Reiling and Sydney Weber.
“As for the loss to Denison I think their are a couple of reasons that it happened. First I think that the burden of being the favorites finally got to us,” said O’Hara. “Tennis is a high pressure sport and I think that some of our girls finally just broke under the strain. Denison was playing to win and we were playing not to lose. When a team beats Spirit Lake-Okoboji it can make their season.
“The other reason is we were simply out coached. We beat Denison early in the season 9-0, and there’s no way that they should have been able to reverse 5 matches. As a coach I take great pride in having the players play their best tennis at the end of the year. This year for reasons that I don’t understand that didn’t happen. I’ll have to go back and look at our practices and try and figure out what changes I need to make next year to assure that something like this doesn’t happen again.”