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Central closes tourney strong with doubles play

Aberdeen Central’s Jack Bain watches the ball as he sets to return a volley during a singles match against Sioux Falls Jefferson Tuesday at the Holgate Middle School tennis courts. Bain teamed with Jack Riggs for a fifth place finish in doubles Saturday at a tournament in Rapid City. Photo by John Davis taken 4/25/2023

RAPID CITY – It may not have been their regular doubles lineups, but the Aberdeen Central Golden Eagles still finished the Rapid City Invitational on a high note on Saturday.

Central, which finished fifth in team points, took second, fourth and fifth place with its three doubles squads on the day.

“All three flights played really well,” said Central coach Trent Kurtz.

The one squad that did feature its normal tandem was at first flight where Mitchell Hofer and AJ Prehn picked up a couple of key victories on the way to a runner-up finish.

“We had two huge wins at one doubles,” Kurtz said, noting victories over Brandon Valley and Mitchell.

“Brandon had beaten us (earlier this season), so that was a big win. It was just close the whole way,” Kurtz said. “We pulled away right at the end. A bunch of deuce games. Just a high quality tennis match.”

The Eagles had defeated Mitchell in a super breaker in a previous match and pulled away for a 10-7 victory in the rematch. The set was tied at 7-7 before Central won the final three games.

“They were serving at 7-8 deuce and hit a really good serve out wide and Hofer hit a great passing shot down the line to get to 9-7,” Kurtz said, “and then AJ served a great game to finish it.”

Central used a pair of new doubles pairings at second and third flight because of injury and a previous commitment and had solid showings.

The team of Jack Riggs and Jack Bain grabbed fifth place.

“It was fun to watch those two play,” Kurtz said. “They really played well together. They brought a lot of energy for each other.”

The duo of Hunter Miller and Sam Casper won their first match together on the way to a fourth-place finish. Again, the players ended up being a good complement for each other.

“They kind of fit each other pretty well,” Kurtz said. “Hunter is better from the baseline and Sam is quick, has good instincts, really good up at the net.”

The Eagles have five matches this coming week, the first two taking place Tuesday at Holgate against Aberdeen Roncalli at 1:30 and Milbank Area at 4.


First Flight

MITCHELL HOFER-AJ PREHN: def. Eli Woidyla-Cole Murray, Brandon Valley, 10-7; def. Luke Jerke-Jager Juracek, Mitchell, 10-7; lost to Noah Greni-Andrew Dobbs, Rapid City Christian, 10-3. SECOND PLACE.

Second Flight

JACK RIGGS-JACK BAIN: lost to Levi Loken-Drake Jerke, Mitchell, 10-7; def. Tristian Ducheneaux-Noah McGarth, Rapid City Central, 8-3; def. Andrew Levine-Braeden Strain, St. Thomas More, 8-0; def. Nathaniel Flynn-Leo Smid, Rapid City Stevens, 8-7 (7-2). FIFTH PLACE.

Third Flight

HUNTER MILLER-SAM CASPER: def. Jayden Reecy-Jacob Bellefeuille, Aberdeen Roncalli, 10-4; lost to Isaac Wright-Landin Roozenboom, Rapid City Stevens, 10-3; lost to Matthew Mauszycki-Zach Fuhrer, Mitchell, 10-3. FOURTH PLACE.

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