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SLO netters place well at state

By Staff | Jun 5, 2010

IOWA CITY – The Spirit Lake-Okoboji players did nearly as well as expected in championship day at the 2010 Class 1A State Tennis Tournament on Friday.

Alli Gerking and Aubry Kolegraff won both matches in the consolation bracket to place fifth in doubles. KJ Veldman won her first match and lost her second to finish sixth.

Gerking and Kolegraff opened the day against Estherville Lincoln Central’s Erin Olson and Kaylene Vos, winning 6-4, 6-3. The pair followed with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 win over Waverly-Shell Rock’s Morgan Kuhrt and Carly Poesch.

SLO coach Bob O’Hara said the duo was more aggressive in the second match than the first.

“I thought Aubry played a little tentative in the first match, but she played well against Waverly-Shell Rock,” O’Hara said. “Allie played good in both matches.”

Veldman won 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (10-7) over Jalyn Deering of Camanche and then lost 6-3, 6-1 to Dubuque Wahlert’s Celia Morton in the fifth place match.

“KJ played great in both matches,” said O’Hara. “The first match, the girl from Camache was very tough, but KJ lobbed well.

“The Dubuque Wahlert girl was on fire in the second match. KJ didn’t play badly, the other girl hit a lot of clean winners that she couldn’t do much about,” said O’Hara.

With all three players returning next year, Kolegraff and Gerking are juniors and Veldman is a freshman, O’Hara is optimistic about 2011 and looks to qualify for state as a team as well.

“We’ll need a good seed at regionals, but I think we showed the state that Northwest Iowa has good tennis with eight players playing in the top eight at this tournament,” said O’Hara.