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Golden Eagles split tennis duals in home opener

Aberdeen Central’s Ian Ahlberg returns a volley at the net during a doubles match against Brandon Valley Monday at the Holgate Tennis Courts. Photo by John Davis taken 4/11/2022

Aberdeen Central won the tight matches it needed to in order to edge Brandon Valley 5-4 in an Eastern South Dakota Conference tennis dual at Holgate on Monday. Central lost to powerhouse O’Gorman 9-0 in the other dual.

“That was a big win for our guys. I’m really proud of how they competed, how they played,” said Central coach Trent Kurtz of the win over the Lynx. “We were a little disappointed the last time out, so it was good to come out and really compete well, really play well. That’s a good team. We’re very similar, so to get the win was really huge.”

The Eagles set the tone early in the dual with a come-from-behind win at number one doubles. The tandem of Gabe Goetz and Ian Ahlberg trailed before taking a lead, then needed a comeback to secure the first set. After dropping the second set, the duo had a solid super-tiebreaker to win the match 10-6.

Ahlberg said they played differently depending on whether they had the lead or were trying to get into the lead.

“I think just positive thinking and finishing volleys, when we had momentum really using it and playing fast and playing aggressive,” Ahlberg said. “And then when we were losing, it’s just taking our time, playing slow, playing defensive.”

The win helped springboard the Eagles throughout the entire dual against Brandon Valley.

“That just kind of got us the momentum,” Kurtz said. “Then we got the lead after doubles and it gave our kids a little confidence.”

Not only did the doubles victory give the rest of the team a shot in the arm against the Lynx, it will also provide a boost for Goetz and Ahlberg going forward.

“A ton of confidence taking that win from Brandon Valley in doubles,” Ahlberg said. “That’s by far the best team we’ve beaten this year and it really helps for seeding when it comes to state and ESD (Eastern South Dakota Conference) time.”

Central also received a big win from Michael Frohling at number five singles. Frohling lost the opening set, before storming back to win the second and eventually the super breaker.

Aberdeen Central’s Michael Frohling returns a volley during a doubles match against Brandon Valley Monday at the Holgate Tennis Courts. Photo by John Davis taken 4/11/2022

“He played an outstanding tie-break,” Kurtz said. “I watched every point of that. He was in control from the get-go.”

Other Central wins against Brandon Valley came from Goetz and Ahlberg in the top two singles flights, and Mitchell Hofer and AJ Prehn at number two doubles.

The Eagles were unable to make much of a dent against O’Gorman.

“They’re really good, 1 through 6 at every flight, they’re really good,” Kurtz said. “They’ll be one of the top three teams this year.”

Despite not winning a match, Kurtz was pleased with how his players competed against the Knights.

“I thought we did not compete last week in Harrisburg,” Kurtz said. “I can handle losing, it doesn’t matter (as long as) we do it the right way. We competed today so I’m happy with that.”

Central was scheduled to compete in a quadrangular in Huron on Thursday, but that event has already been canceled.

Aberdeen Central 5, Brandon Valley 4


Gabe Goetz, AC, def. Cole Murray, 6-1, 6-0.

Ian Ahlberg, AC, def. Tayven Badger, 6-1, 6-4.

Eli Woidyla, BV, def. Mitchell Hofer, 6-4, 4-6, (10-8).

Gibsen Eszlinger, BV, def. AJ Prehn, 6-4, 6-2.

Henry Wright, BV, def. Jack Riggs, 4-6, 6-2 (10-3).

Michael Frohling, AC, def. Sam Woidyla, 2-6, 6-4, (10-5).


Goetz-Ahlberg, AC, def. Murray-E. Woidyla, 7-6 (7-4), 2-6, (10-6).

Hofer-Prehn, AC, def. Badger-S. Woidyla, 6-2, 6-4.

Eszlinger-Wright, BV, def. Frohling-Sekou Gogue, 6-3, 6-4.

O’Gorman 9, Aberdeen Central 0


Alex Lapu, OG, def. Gabe Goetz, 6-0, 6-2.

Alex Mohama, OG, def. Ian Ahlberg, 6-2, 6-0.

Cooper Johnson, OG, def. Mitchell Hofer, 6-3, 6-0.

Liam Sarmiento, OG, def. AJ Prehn, 6-2, 6-0.

Will Rozier, OG, def. Jack Riggs, 6-0, 6-0.

Sam Hayden, OG, def. Michael Frohling, 6-1, 6-1.


Lapu-Mohama, OG, def. Goetz-Ahlberg, 6-1, 6-1.

Johnson-Rozier, OG, def. Hofer-Prehn, 6-2, 6-2.

Sarmiento-Hayden, OG, def. Frohling-Sekou Gogue, 6-1, 6-2.

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