HURON – A group of inexperienced Aberdeen Roncalli tennis players got their first taste of victory in dramatic fashion Tuesday in a pair of dual losses. The Cavaliers fell to Lennox 5-4 and suffered an 8-1 setback to Huron.
It was a strange day as the weather was decent before play was stopped because of snow with Roncalli trailing Lennox 5-0.
“We came back out about 15 minutes later, the sun came out and we finished the match. We won all the matches after that break,” said Roncalli coach JD Carrels. “Three of ones that we won at 4, 5 and 6 (singles) all were in super-tiebreakers. It was the first win of the season for a lot of our guys. It was nice to get the win, but also for wins to come in that fashion feels a little extra special.”
Mason Carrels, in his first year on the team, won his super breaker 10-8 at number four, eighth-grader AJ Prehn won 10-3 in a super at number five, and freshman Palmer Johnson won 10-3 at number six.
Coach Carrels noted that there were a lot of long, pressure-packed games in those matches.
“They were playing in a lot of stressful situations that you can talk about and try to simulate in practice, but that just doesn’t do it justice when you get in that actual match play,” Coach Carrels said. “For us to be in those situations and to handle them the way we did, especially with having such a young team that doesn’t have a lot of varsity experience, that was a big, big positive for me, and definitely was a big boost of confidence for the kids as well.”
Roncalli then ran up against a talented Huron squad that features a potent attack at the top of its lineup.
“Their 1, 2 and 3 are solid players,” Coach Carrels said. “Great strokes, and some of the quickest hands as an overall team that I’ve ever seen. They’re just quick, fast guys. They get to everything.”
The Cavaliers concluded the day with a win from Johnson to prevent the shutout.
“Palmer Johnson playing like the backboard he is,” Coach Carrels said. “You could just see he was frustrating his opponent. He kept it in and let the opponent make the mistake.”
The Cavaliers will have their first home match of the season when they face Rapid City Stevens at 1 p.m. on Thursday as part of the Rezatto Rumble. Roncalli will then play against Rapid City Central and Aberdeen Central on Friday.
Lennox 5, Aberdeen Roncalli 4
Gray Imbery, AR, def. Tyler Plank, 6-0, 6-4.
Jax Plank, L, def. Cason Hellwig, 6-1, 6-0.
Andrew Daugherty, L, def. Jackson Henrich, 6-3, 6-2.
Mason Carrels, AR, def. Layne Lunstra, 6-4, 5-7, (10-8).
AJ Prehn, AR, def. Cody Plank, 7-5, 2-6, (10-3).
Palmer Johnson, AR, def. Gunner Gerken, 1-6, 6-1, (10-3).
T. Plank-J. Plank, L, def. Imbery-Carrels, 6-0, 7-6.
Daugherty-C. Plank, L, def. Hellwig-Henrich, 6-4, 6-1.
Lunstra-Gerken, L, def. Prehn-Gannon May, 5-7, 6-4, (10-6).
Huron 8, Aberdeen Roncalli 1
Eh Dah, H, def. Gray Imbery, 6-1, 6-3.
Eh Kalu, H, def. Cason Hellwig, 6-1, 6-1.
Roger Puterbaugh, H, def. Jackson Henrich, 6-2, 6-2.
Moo Sher Say, H, def. Mason Carrels, 6-2, 6-3.
Hay Klu Moo Taw, H, def. AJ Prehn, 6-2, 6-1.
Palmer Johnson, AR, def. Lay Kpaw Wah, 6-3, 6-3.
Dah-Kalu, H, def. Imbery-Carrels, 6-1, 6-1.
Puterbaugh-Moo Sher Say, H, def. Hellwig-Henrich, 6-3, 6-2.
Klu Moo Taw-Kpaw Wah, H, def. Prehn-Gannon May, 6-2, 6-1.
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