Aberdeen Central relied on the middle of its lineup against Watertown before rolling past Milbank Area in tennis action at the Holgate Courts on Tuesday.
The Golden Eagles battled to a 4-4 tie with Watertown (injuries prevented all the matches from being played) and grabbed a 9-0 win over the Bulldogs.
“We got a real good day out of Mitchell (Hofer) and AJ (Prehn),” said Central coach Trent Kurtz. “The middle of the lineup played really well today.”
Hofer won both of his singles matches at flight three, Prehn won both of his at flight four, and the two teamed up for a pair of doubles wins at flight two.
Prehn produced a monster serve on match point in his singles victory over the Arrows.
“He had a big serve on deuce point for match point,” Kurtz said. “He doesn’t win that, its 9-9 and we’re playing a tiebreaker that we haven’t been very good at.”
Kurtz said the freshman can do some major damage with his serve, whether he hits it hard or takes some pace off of it.
“He’s got that weapon,” Kurtz said. “He’s doing a really good job of being smart, when to take a little something off and when to hit the big one. It was good time for a big one there at deuce 9-8.”
The 10-8 victory was tight the whole way with players exchanging games throughout the match.
“We just kept trading,” Prehn said. “A couple of times I won a break, he won a break, and eventually I guess I got the upper hand.”
While Prehn’s serve came up big down the stretch, he said another key was his mental mindset, especially with so many swings during the contest.
“I didn’t get super low on myself,” Prehn said. “I kept an open mind and just fought through the mental aspect of the game, which is a huge part of tennis.”
The season is fast winding to a close and Prehn said he is looking forward to the final weeks of competition.
“I’m excited. I’ve been playing a lot better,” Prehn said. “I’ve gotten a lot better this year and I’m excited to see where I go.”
Hofer also had to battle for his singles win against Watertown. The seventh-grader led 6-3 before his opponent tied the score.
“That kid has a big, big forehand. He got some momentum going,” Kurtz said of Hofer’s foe. “(Mitchell) was able to focus and really play well down the stretch.”
Other Central players who won singles matches on the day included Gabe Goetz, Michael Frohling, Sekou Gogue and Jack Riggs.
Central will have its final home match of the season when it hosts Sioux Falls Lincoln at 2 p.m. on Friday. The Golden Eagles then compete in the Bobcat Quadrangular Saturday in Brookings, before the Eastern South Dakota Conference Tournament Tuesday in Huron.
Aberdeen Central 4, Watertown 4
Gabe Goetz, AC, won by default.
Curtis Sneder, W, won by default.
Mitchell Hofer, AC, def. Evan Meester, 10-7.
AJ Prehn, AC, def. Justin Remmers, 10-8.
Jaden Lindner, W, def. Sekou Gogue, 10-4.
Zander Binde, W, def. Jack Riggs, 10-5.
Hofer-Prehn, AC, def. Meester-Remmers, 10-6.
Lindner-Binde, W, def. Riggs-Michael Frohling, 10-2.
Aberdeen Central 9, Milbank Area 0
Gabe Goetz, AC, def. Benett Street, 10-1.
Michael Frohling, AC, def. Joe Schulke, 10-9 (7-4).
Mitchell Hofer, AC, def. Gregory Grabow, 10-1.
AJ Prehn, AC, def. Charles Whitesitt, 10-1.
Sekou Gogue, AC, def. Will Snaza, 10-2.
Jack Riggs, AC, def. Daniel Shelstad, 10-0.
Goetz-Gogue, AC, def. Street-Schulke, 10-3.
Hofer-Prehn, AC, def. Grabow-Whitesitt, 10-2.
Frohling-Riggs, AC, def. Snaza-Isaiah Karstjens, 10-3.
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