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Eagles fall to Pierre in marathon matches

Jack Riggs of Aberdeen Central returns a volley during a singles match last year at the Hub City Open tennis tournament at the NSU Tennis Courts. Riggs scored a straight-set singles win in Pierre on Thursday. Photo by John Davis taken 7/24/2021

PIERRE – Aberdeen Central had numerous chances, but came up just a bit short in a 6-3 setback to Pierre in a tennis dual Thursday.

The Golden Eagles lost four super tiebreakers on the day, including one that lasted a whopping 38 points.

The day started off with doubles, where Pierre won each match in a super despite solid efforts from the Eagles.

“That was frustrating,” said Central coach Trent Kurtz. “We started with doubles. … I thought we played really well in all three flights. We had chances in all of them.”

At flight one, Gabe Goetz and Ian Ahlberg dropped a 7-5, 4-6, 10-7 decision.

“Gabe served for the first set,” Kurtz said. “We’ll take that, anytime you get your best player serving for the set.”

At flight two, Mitchell Hofer and AJ Prehn dropped a heartbeaking 20-18 decision in a super. Kurtz said he can’t ever recall being part of a longer breaker.

“We played really well and then neither team really played a great tiebreak, so it wasn’t the highest quality of tennis,” Kurtz said, “but it was as fun of a 15 minutes that I’ve been a part of.”

At flight three, Sekou Gogue and Michael Frohling fell 10-5 in a super breaker.

“Number three, I know they’re getting frustrated,” Kurtz said. “We’re trying different combinations and they’re playing well and no matter who’s in there, they just can’t get over the hump to win right now.”

Central then split six singles matches with the Governors, winning a super breaker and also dropping one.

Ahlberg won 10-6 in a super at number two singles.

“He’s getting better and better,” Kurtz said of Ahlberg. “He’s volleying really well and he’s hitting some really good approach shots.”

Hofer won in straight sets at number three singles. Kurtz said he is impressed with the seventh-grader’s decision making on the court.

“For a seventh-grader he’s obviously skilled, but there’s some middle schoolers out there that are more skilled than him, but I guarantee you there’s not a middle schooler in the state that thinks the game as well as him,” Kurtz said. “He’s really mature for his age as far as his tennis IQ and knowledge, and he had to use that today.”

Jack Riggs also claimed a straight-set win at number six singles.

Riggs got off to a 5-0 start to set the tone for his victory.

“He’s always working extremely hard,” Kurtz said. “He competes for every point.”

The Eagles were scheduled to compete in the Rezatto Rumble this weekend, but that has been canceled. The Central-Roncalli dual will be made up a later date.

Central hosts Sioux Falls Washington and Mitchell on Monday at the Holgate Courts to kick off a busy week. The Eagles then play Roosevelt and Jefferson in Sioux Falls on Tuesday, before competing in a three-day tournament in Rapid City Thursday through Saturday.

Pierre 6, Aberdeen Central 3


Matthew Hanson, P, def. Gabe Goetz, 4-6, 6-4, (10-7).

Ian Ahlberg, AC, def. Blake Judson, 6-4, 2-6, (10-6).

Mitchell Hofer, AC, def. Matysa Pribyl, 6-1, 6-3.

Luke Leingang, P, def. AJ Prehn, 6-0, 6-2.

Spencer Kelly, P, def. Sekou Gogue, 6-4, 6-1.

Jack Riggs, AC, def. Carter Shulz, 6-2, 6-3.


Hanson-Judson, P, def. Goetz-Ahlberg, 7-5, 4-6, (10-7).

Pribyl-Leingang, P, def. Hofer-Prehn, 2-6, 6-4, (20-18).

Kelly-Crew Heier, P, def. Gogue-Michael Frohling, 6-4, 5-7, (10-5).

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