Business as usual
SPENCER – It was business as usual for Lakes Conference champion Spirit Lake-Okoboji at the Spencer Tennis Tournament on Saturday as the Indians had three first place, one second place and one third place finish on the day.
Relentless freshman K.J. Veldman earned the Indians’ lone singles championship, defeating Spencer’s Amanda Edwards in the No. 4 singles finale, 9-2.
“Mentally K.J. is as fierce of a competitor as you’ll ever see,” said SL-O coach Bob O’Hara. “For someone to beat K.J. they have to play their best tennis for an entire match. K.J. had several games that she was down 0-40 and came back and won. If you let your guard down against her even for a moment, K.J. will take advantage of it.”
The Indians were also dominant in doubles action as the duo of Veldman and Alli Gerking took first at No. 1 and Haley Smith and Jamie Kohlhaase won the No. 2 bracket.
“In doubles play we really had some exceptional performances,” said O’Hara. “Our No. 1 team of Alli and K.J. played great.
“The best match of the day was in the semifinals versus ELC’s Erin Olson & Kaylene Vos. I thought that the teams were evenly matched. The big difference was Alli’s overhead smashes. It was the best that I’ve ever seen her hit them.”
Gerking placed second in No. 1 singles, falling to last year’s Class 2A state singles sixth place finisher, Sioux City West’s Maddie Warder, 8-3 in the final.
“Maddie has a great return of serve and Alli seemed to be on defense most of the match,” said O’Hara. “I think if Alli played someone like Maddie more often she would adjust to the pace of the ball and it would become an interesting match.”
Shirley Coenen took third place in the No. 2 singles, defeating Sioux City North’s Alexa Wolfe 8-3 in her final match.