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Trio of players win multiple titles at CC Lee tourney

Julia Knie, reaches to return a volley during Tuesday’s action at the C.C. Lee Tournament on the Northern State University tennis courts. Photo by John Davis taken 7/13/2021

Local players won multiple titles against and with friends during the final day of the annual C.C. Lee Youth Tennis Tournament on Tuesday.

One of those players was Julia Knie who did not come close to losing a set on the way to winning the 14 and Under singles and doubles championships. The 14-year-old said a key is keeping the ball in play.

“Sometimes when you’re losing really bad, you get frustrated and just hit it harder so you can make better shots, but most of the time they go out,” Knie said. “So if you just like keep your cool and just keep hitting them back, you’ll win.”

Knie teamed with Riley O’Keefe to win the doubles crown. Knie said she enjoys the strategy involved in playing doubles.

“I like doubles because not all the pressure is just on you,” Knie said. “And you can do different positions like when the other person on your team is serving, you get to go up at the net and it’s just you up at the net.”

Emily Ringgenberg also won a pair of titles, capturing the singles and doubles titles in the 18 and Under division. She ended up beating her friend and doubles partner Alice Vogel in the singles final.

“It’s kind of difficult,” Ringgenberg said of battling someone so close to her. “I feel kind of bad.”

Ringgenberg said there is an advantage to playing a friend because she knows her style of play, but that’s doesn’t make her feel better.

“It probably makes it a little easier,” she said, “but being friends just makes it harder.”

The 16-year-old Ringgenberg has attempted other sports in the past, but got hooked on tennis.

“I just love it. I started at a really young age,” she said. “I played a couple of different sports, but I didn’t like it very much, and then I started tennis and I just loved it so much. I don’t know what it is about the sport, but I just love it.”

Vogel also enjoys the sport and also enjoys playing doubles with Ringgenberg. She said the two have a good strategy.

“If the back person hits cross-court, then it’s easier for the front person to get a volley. So we try to keep it cross-court,” Vogel said. “I know if I’m back, I’ll hit it really cross-court to the back hand. Then they’ll hit it and then Emily usually puts the cross-court away.”

Gabe Goetz of Aberdeen also won a pair of championships, claiming the singles and doubles titles in the 18 and Under division. Like Ringgenberg, he also defeated his doubles partner and friend, Zach Gonsor, in the championship match.

“The match was pretty fun. We were kind of joking around the whole time,” Goetz said. “I think it’s like easier for me to play Zach, because I know his tricks because we’ve been playing doubles for so long. It’s just cool to have the opportunity since we don’t get to during the season.”

The doubles team had their hands full against a squad from Wahpeton, N.D. in the finals before pulling away in the second set.

“We got that 7-5 first set. I feel like that kind of changed the momentum in the second set” Gonsor said. “That’s how normally we played in high school. We’d get down the first set, and then come back and destroy the second set and third set. It’s kind of just like high school all over again.”

With one very notable difference. The two players donned matching bucket hats for the championship match.

“Gabe wanted to play with bucket hats,” Gonsor said. “I was like I always wanted to play with a bucket hat, so me and Gabe just went out there with the bucket hats on and just felt like we’d have a good time.”

When asked if the hats made a difference, Gonsor responded, “It felt like it did. It felt like we had more teamwork.”

Gannon Pederson and Mitchell Hofer used solid teamwork to win the 14 and Under doubles championship.

“It’s a lot of teamwork,” Pederson said of the doubles success. “You have to hit some into the alleys. You have to know who’s taking what shot.”

That teamwork seems to be working.

“We’ve never lost a doubles match before, actually,” Pederson said.

The 13-year-old Pederson participates in golf, baseball and wrestling. He competed in a wrestling event in Custer last weekend and was going to play in a baseball game Tuesday night following his tennis action.

When asked what sport he liked best, Pederson said, “Probably tennis or golf, because it’s the ones I’m the best at.”

Other Aberdeen champions were Ryker Weideman in the boys 12 and Under singles, and AJ Prehn and Cason Hellwig in the boys 16 and Under doubles.


12 and Under Singles

Aric Tennant def. Cooper Star, 2-6, 6-4, (12-10), Ryker Weideman def. Dawson Pederson, 6-1, 6-0. CHAMPIONSHIP: Weideman def. Tennant, 6-2, 6-3.

Consolation: Lucas Meester def. Zayne Fast Horse, by forfeit; Star def. Jackson Isaak, 10-0. CHAMPIONSHIP: Star def. Meester, 10-1.

14 and Under Singles

Alexander Comings def. Joseph Meester, 6-4, 6-3; Aiden Zerr def. Mika Dannen, 6-1, 6-0. CHAMPIONSHIP: Zerr def. Comings, 6-4, 6-3.

Consolation: Cowboy Haskell def. Landen Appl, 10-5; Gannon Pederson def. Wyatt Kiesz. CHAMPIONSHIP: Pederson def. Haskell, 10-2.

14 and Under Doubles

CHAMPIONSHIP: Pederson- Hofer def. Lust-Tennant, 6-1, 6-1.

16 and Under Singles

Sam Hayden def. Jack Riggs, 6-1, 6-0; Mitchell Hofer def. Cason Hellwig, 6-4, 5-7 (10-8). CHAMPIONSHIP: Hayden def. Hofer, 3-6, 7-5, (10-7).

Consolation: AJ Prehn def. Hellwig, 10-4. CHAMPIONSHIP: Prehn def. Gannon May, 10-4.

16 and Under Doubles

(Round Robin)

Prehn-Hellwig def. Riggs-Gogue, 3-6, 6-2, (10-6). FIRST PLACE: Prehn-Hellwig. SECOND PLACE: Riggs-Gokue.

18 and Under Singles

Gabe Goetz def. Paul Vocu, 6-0, 6-1; Zach Gonsor def. Matthew Comings, 6-0, 7-5. CHAMPIONSHIP: Goetz def. Gonsor, 6-1, 6-2.

Consolation: David Comings def. Andrew Withuski, 10-1; Douglas Burvee def. Jacob Bartels, 10-8. CHAMPIONSHIP: Comings def. Burvee, 10-4.

18 and Under Doubles
Gonsor-Goetz def. Bartels-Comings, 7-5, 6-2.


14 and Under Singles

Julia Knie def. Avery Tennant, 6-2, 6-1; Reese Comstock def. Addison O’Keefe, 5-7, 6-3 (10-5). CHAMPIONSHIP: Knie def. Comstock,, 6-1, 6-1.

Consolation: CHAMPIONSHIP: Riley O’Keefe def. River Haskell, 10-2.

14 and Under Doubles

CHAMPIONSHIP: O’Keefe-Knie def. Haskell-Haskell, 6-0, 6-2.

16 and Under Singles

Emily Ringgenberg def. Livia Douglas, 6-0, 6-2; Alice Vogel def. Elizabeth Comings, 6-3, 2-6 (10-4). CHAMPIONSHIP: Ringgenberg def. Vogel, 6-0, 6-4.

Consolation: Olivia Geier def. Katherine Kretchman, 10-7; Carly Comstock def. Jenna Joachim, 10-4. CHAMPIONSHIP: Comstock def. Geier, 10-4.

18 and Under Singles

(Round Robin)

Holly German def. Kiannah Freddie, 1-6, 7-5, (10-8). FIRST PLACE: Phoebe Olson. SECOND PLACE: Holly German.

18 and Under Doubles

CHAMPIONSHIP: Vogel-Ringgenberg def. Joachim-Galvin, 6-1, 6-2.

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