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Central makes abbreviated home debut

Aberdeen Central’s Laney Gonsor reaches to return a volley during a singles match against St. Thomas More Monday at the Holgate Middle School tennis courts. Gonsor won her singles match in a tie-breaker. Photo by John Davis taken 9/13/2021

It wasn’t a complete show, but the curtain did go up on the home debut of the Aberdeen Central tennis team Monday morning.

The Golden Eagles were able to complete the singles portion of their dual with St. Thomas More at the Holgate Courts before the rain took over.

“It was fun to finally play here at home, get the monkey off our back, even if we only got singles in,” said Central coach John Vogel. “Hey, we’ve had some home tennis now. I had people tell me the last couple of days, do you realize you haven’t played at home, yet? Yes, we do realize we haven’t played at home yet, but that ends this week. Technically we got our first taste today and we’re going to have a whole bunch on Friday and Saturday.”

Central claimed wins in four of the six singles matches. All three doubles matches were on court when play was halted.

The most notable victory on the day was a tie-breaker victory by Laney Gonsor at flight five singles.

“She was down and came back against a really tough girl. Their five is good,” Vogel said. “Laney was down 8-5 kind of  late, had to come back in a tiebreak and then took that 10-8. That was a very close tiebreak. She basically just out-dueled the girl.”

Avery Tennant overcame a bit of a slow start to blow past her opponent at flight six singles.

“Avery Tennant also was kind of doing her own thing at flight six. That was close at first,” Vogel said. “I just told her, ‘Avery stop hitting it right to her, make her work a little bit.’ I think that was at 4-3, she was down. The next thing I know she comes back and gives me the good buddy score 10-4.”

Vogel said Tennant has a unique style that catches people off guard.

“Avery is a very deceptive player,” Vogel said. “I’ve heard her opponents say, and I know I’ve heard our girls say it, it doesn’t even look like she’s trying, and then she’ll roll off seven straight games like she did today.”

Vogel also pointed out the play of Livia Douglas at number three singles.

Douglas had a big lead, lost some of it and then regrouped for a 10-5 victory.

“She had a really big lead 9-1 and then let it slip a little bit,” Vogel noted, “but she rebounded when she needed to.”

Central’s other victory came at top flight singles, where Julia Knie defeated an opponent in a matchup of number seven players after STM’s number one player was injured.

Vogel was pleased with his team’s performance against an up and coming STM squad.

“This is a very young, talented St. Thomas More team,” he said. “Hats off to them for making our girls compete as hard as they did.”

The Eagles are off until a big weekend of tennis. They host Rapid City Central and Rapid City Stevens on Friday, and then host the annual Elliott Extravaganza on Saturday.


Julia Knie, AC, def. Amity Strand, 10-0.

Sylvie Mortimer, STM, def, Carly Comstock, 10-8.

Livia Douglas, AC, def. Sophia Meyer, 10-5.

Katelyn Denholm, STM, def. Alice Vogel, 10-5.

Laney Gonsor, AC, def. Kaitlyn Schmahl, 10-9 (10-8).

Avery Tennant, AC, def. Shriya Gangireni, 10-4.

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