No upset this year—SL-O wins Lakes Tourney
SPENCER – Since the calendar rolled from 1999 to 2000, Spirit Lake-Okoboji has dominated the Lakes Conference Girls Tennis Tournament.
Led by its top doubles team of Alli Gerking and Aubry Kolegraff, all SL-O girls earned either all-conference or honorable mention all-conference in winning their 12th straight Lakes Conference Team Title. SL-O had 18 match wins with LeMars finishing second with 14.
Gerking and Kolegraff rolled through their bracket.
“They are four-time first team all conference players,” said SL-O coach Bob O’Hara. “Only four other girls in Lakes conference history have achieved that honor. They’re really playing intense tennis right now and I’m guessing the rest of the season should involve some more great accomplishments.”
KJ Veldman went through the day with a 4-1 record, losing to Estherville Lincoln Central’s Erin Olson, but finished second to also earn first team all-conference honors.
” I think inexperience played a big roll with KJ today,” said O’Hara. “She struggled with her serve and found out that at the Lakes Conference tournament that you can’t have a 10 percent first serve percentage and and throw in one or two doubles faults every service game.
“If KJ is going to make a return trip to state she needs to be more intense and play much smarter. It was not her best outing. Last night against LeMars her anticipation was great she ran down everything. Today she just didn’t look as quick.”
Hannah Coenen came up short of making first team, but earned honorable mention all-conference as she was the runner-up in the No. 2 singles bracket
“Hannah lost an amazing match to LeMar’s Erica Westhoff,” said O’Hara. “Both girls played high quality tennis, and I couldn’t ask for any more from Hannah. She’s had a great season and I’ve really enjoyed watching her this year.”
SL-O No. 2 doubles team of Jamie Kohlhaase and Rachel Westergard won their division to earn honorable metion.
“We started out a little shaky but were playing better by the end of the day,” said O’Hara. “Still I’m not satisfied some of the mistakes we’re making. It may be that we haven’t found the right combination yet.
“As for the team winning the tournament, it’s a great feeling for the coaches and players,” the coach continued. “Our girls have put a lot of work in getting ready for this meet and it’s great to see them have success. I’m sure that every girl wanted to win her division. The fact is that’s not something that happens very often. I never take winning the conference tournament for granted-it’s something special. The last time Spirit Lake didn’t win the meet was 1999. Those LeMars girls are now in their 30s.”