HARRISBURG – It was a bit of a role reversal for the Aberdeen Central tennis team at the Eastern South Dakota Conference tennis tournament on Tuesday. The Golden Eagles did well where they didn’t expect to and did not fare so well where they thought they would.
In all, Central finished sixth in team points.
“It was kind of a tale of two tournaments,” said Central coach Trent Kurtz, comparing the singles and the doubles.
“Singles we just didn’t play well. That was supposed to be the strength of our team going off seeds,” Kurtz said. “We gave a couple of goals for each individual kid. One of them was to play to your seed or better, and we only did that in one of our six singles flights. We couldn’t win any close matches.”
The Eagles lost two matches where they had match points and also lost a tiebreaker that was tied 5-5.
“It was just a bad day to have that happen,” Kurtz said. “We lost a lot of 50-50 matches.”
Then the squad rebounded in doubles where Gabe Goetz and Zach Gonsor finished second in the top flight.
“I was real proud of the kids and how they responded in the afternoon,” Kurtz said. “They were disappointed with how they played in singles and how things went.”
Kurtz said not only did Goetz and Gonsor play well, so did Ian Ahlberg and Lincoln Wilkinson at number two doubles.
The second flight doubles squad lost a heartbreaker to a team from Harrisburg in the semifinals. Ahlberg and Wilkinson led 10-9 and had a match point.
“We played a great point, a great point, and then at the very end, an unlucky let cord,” Kurtz said. “They hit the net and it trickled over. If it trickles on their side, we win the match, and we’re in the championship there, too.”
Brandon Valley won the tournament in a wide open field. Kurtz said he can’t recall another ESD tourney like the one that transpired on Tuesday.
“It was tournament like we’ve never had in my nine years of being the head coach, and even being the assistant coach for 5-6 years,” Kurtz said. “We’ve never seen it like this where there was a legit six teams that could have won it and we were definitely one of them. There were six teams within 60 points. Anybody that had a good day could have won it.”
The Eagles play in Watertown on Thursday against the host squad and Madison to round out the regular season before next week’s Class AA state tournament in Sioux Falls.
Team Points: Brandon Valley 275, Huron 201, Harrisburg 197, Mitchell 180, Yankton 147, Aberdeen Central 129, Pierre 104, Watertown 45, Brookings 10
GABE GOETZ: def. Micah Ardry, Brookings, 10-4; lost to Eh Dah, Huron, 11-10 (7-5); lost to Macon Larson, Mitchell, 8-1. FOURTH PLACE.
ZACH GONSOR: def. Marcus Halling, Harrisburg, 10-1; Tyler Loecker, Mitchell, 10-4; lost to Eh Kalu, Huron, 8-3. FOURTH PLACE.
IAN AHLBERG: lost to Tanner Schultz, Brandon Valley, 10-5; def. Jacob Meester, Watertown, 8-5; lost Zac Briggs, Yankton, 8-2. SIXTH PLACE.
LINCOLN WILKINSON: lost to Moo Sher Say, Huron, 11-10 (7-3); def. Adam Kays, Watertown, 8-2; def. Connor Thelen, Mitchell, 8-0. FIFTH PLACE.
HENRY FOUBERG: lost to Harrison Krajewski, Yankton, 10-0; Lost to Hay Klu Moo Taw, Huron, 8-4.
BRETT JACOBS: lost to Cole Murray, Brandon Valley, 10-5; def. Dylan Ridgway, Yankton, 11-10 (7-4); def. Lay Kpaw Wah, Huron, 9-7. FIFTH PLACE.
GABE GOETZ-ZACH GONSOR: def. Gage Becker-Quentin Moser, Yankton, 10-5; def. Desmond Looft-Marcus Halling, Harrisburg, 10-3; lost to Eh Dah-Eh Kalu, Huron, 10-7. SECOND PLACE.
IAN AHLBERG-LINCOLN WILKINSON: def. Aidan Patrick-Connor Thelen, Mitchell, 10-3; lost to Nick Tschudy-Nick Anderson, Harrisburg, 11-9; lost to Luke Leingang-Spencer Kelly, Pierre, 8-6. FOURTH PLACE.
HENRY FOUBERG-BRETT JACOBS: lost to Zac Briggs-Harrison Krajewski, Yankton, 10-7; lost to Hay Klu Moo Taw-Lay Kpaw Wah, Huron, 8-6.
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