SLO netters advance past district play
The Spirit Lake-Okoboji Boys Tennis had a good day at the district meet Friday placing third overall to advance in the postseason.
SLO was in a preliminary substate dual meet at LeMars on Monday with the winner advancing along with first place Storm Lake to the substate competition on Saturday, May 21.
“This is the first appearance for SL-O in team substate since the 2006 season,” said SLO coach Dan Taylor. And as well as a team appearance in the post-season, the doubles team of Wes Bergquist and Brandon Stoll has qualified for the state individual tournament in Waterloo with their second-place finish in the doubles tournament.
The coach said the duo played tremendous tennis in their first three matches to qualify, and then lost to a very solid team of the Andersen brothers from Storm Lake.
This is the first appearance in the state individual tournament for SL-O since 2007, when Scott Maudlin and Jake Shell qualified as a doubles team.
Tyler Bice (12) and Joe Oldson (12) had a tough draw in the first round, drawing the fourth-seeded Cherokee team But the team earned four crucial team points with first round singles victories from both Jordan Richey (12) and Brett Kraus (12).
According to coach Taylor, Richey used his big serve to overpower the kid from Bishop Heelan, and Kraus came back after dropping the first set against Desmond from Storm Lake to pull out a win in three sets.
After their first round wins, Richey and Kraus then had to play the top two seeds in the tournament in the second round, who ended up being the two state qualifiers in singles.
“It was a tremendous day for the team, and we actually even had an opportunity to finish in first place as a team,” said Taylor. “It came down to the doubles final – had Stoll and Bergquist defeated Storm Lake, SL-O would have finished in first, and Storm
Lake would have dropped to third.
“I am extremely proud of them, and am very much looking forward to our upcoming post-season matches!” the coach said.
Storm Lake finished with 17 points overall followed by LeMars with 15, SLO with 13, Spencer with 10, Denison-Schleswig with nine, Bishop Heelan with six, Cherokee with 5 and Estherville Lincoln Central with zero.