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Central finishes seventh at State Tennis

Aberdeen Central’s Henry Fouberg returns a volley during a doubles match with Aberdeen Roncalli at the Holgate Middle School courts. Fouberg was one of three seniors on the squad who played his final match at the Class AA state tournament on Friday. Photo by John Davis taken 5/6/2021

SIOUX FALLS – The Aberdeen Central tennis season came to a tough close on Friday.

The Golden Eagles managed just one win in the 10 matches they played and finished sixth in team points. Sioux Falls Lincoln won its seventh consecutive state team championship.

Central had six singles matches in consolation action and lost each one of them, some by narrow margins.

“Very frustrating day. We could pay those six singles matches 100 times or play the same slate of matches and not very often are we going to go 0-6 in that,” said Central coach Trent Kurtz. “We didn’t play well in a couple of flights where we had wins against guys earlier. A couple of close ones really that could have gone either way.”

One of those close ones drew the attention of a lot of spectators. Brett Jacobs was locked in a tight match at sixth flight singles, which was the only match in progress at the time. That meant plenty of attention.

“Brett’s match was a fun one. He had the whole crowd watching,” Kurtz said. “He saved six match points. It was a blast.”

In the end, Jacobs succumbed and lost 11-9 in a tiebreaker. However, the freshman gained valuable experience.

“You could tell he was a little nervous, but to play that well; it felt like a big stage,” Kurtz said. “Anytime you can get quality reps in environments like that, it’s all going to help you. He played really well.”

Another bright spot on the day was the play of the top flight doubles team of Gabe Goetz and Zach Gonsor. The duo won their first match on the day before falling in the fifth place match 11-9. Kurtz said the guys played well.

“They’re frustrated, because they played really well today. That was one area where we played really well,” Kurtz said. “They played very well to beat a good Harrisburg team in the conso semis and then just fought and battled the Brandon team.”

Kurtz said it was just a few points here and there that went the other way.

“It was a little windy and both teams were winning points against the wind,” he said. “We just couldn’t find a way to win points with the wind at our back.”

Goetz and Gonsor led 9-7 before losing the last four games, three of which were settled on deuce points. Still, Kurtz was pleased with the effort.

“We tell them all the time, if you play well, you compete, we can handle winning and losing, doing all that,” he said.

The Eagles will lose three seniors, Gonsor, Lincoln Wilkinson and Henry Fouberg. Kurtz said it was a fun year.

“It was a great season. We have an awesome group of kids,” Kurtz said. “We got great experience for next year. We have a lot of kids that are ready to play next year. I’m kind of sad it’s over, but it was a fun year.”

Team Points: Sioux Falls Lincoln 517, Sioux Falls Washington 407, Rapid City Stevens 377.5, O’Gorman 346, Brandon Valley 233.5, Harrisburg 171.5, Aberdeen Central 141.5, Watertown 83, Brookings 68, Sioux Falls Roosevelt 22, Rapid City Central 0, St. Thomas More 0.

SINGLES

First Flight: GABE GOETZ lost to Micah Ardry, Brookings, 10-7.

Second Flight: ZACH GONSOR lost to Dawson Peters, Brookings, 10-2.

Third Flight: IAN AHLBERG lost to Alex Rallis, Harrisburg, 10-6.

Fourth Flight: LINCOLN WILKINSON lost to Ayden Murray, Brandon Valley, 10-8.

Fifth Flight: HENRY FOUBERG lost to Curtis Sneden, Watertown, 10-5.

Sixth Flight: BRETT JACOBS lost to Cole Murray, Brandon Valley, 11-10 (11-9).

DOUBLES

First Flight: GABE GOETZ-ZACH GONSOR def. Looft-Halling, Harrisburg, 10-4; lost to Johnson-Kocer, Brandon Valley, 11-9. SIXTH PLACE.

Second Flight: IAN AHLBERG-LINCOLN WILKINSON lost to Tschudy-Anderson, Harrisburg, 10-5.

Third Flight: HENRY FOUBERG-BRETT JACOBS lost to Hunter-Rallis, Harrisburg, 10-6.

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