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Roncalli splits tennis duals in home opener

Aberdeen Roncalli’s Gannon May watches the ball as he prepares to return a volley during a doubles match against Huron Tuesday at the Northern State University tennis courts. Photo by John Davis taken 4/18/2023

Aberdeen Roncalli, which has yet to have a home outdoor practice, had its first home outdoor matches on Tuesday at the Northern State courts. The Cavaliers fell to Huron 7-2 before rebounding to defeat Milbank Area 8-1.

“It’s funny that we’re looking forward to our first outside practice (Wednesday) after our first outside match today,” said Roncalli coach Paige Hermanson.

While wins were hard to come by against Huron, the Cavaliers secured a key victory at top flight doubles. The tandem of Palmer Johnson and Gannon May lost a 9-4 lead, then regrouped for a tiebreaker win.

“It was definitely very frustrating. I had very low confidence,” May said. “And then Palmer, we’ve always been a great duo together, he just kind of got me back into it.”

The duo won the first point of the breaker and bolted out to a 4-1 lead before finishing off the match. May said they tried to block out what had just transpired late in the set.

“We just took it one point at a time,” May said, “and that seemed to work out pretty good for us.”

What has also worked out well lately is a more aggressive approach to the matches.

“We kind of started the season out kind of just staying back and playing defensively,” May said, “and then we kind of realized we need to get to the net right away and not let these guys get there first.”

Roncalli also received a win from freshman Ezra Feickert at flight five singles against the Tigers.

“It’s exciting see those two, Palmer Johnson and Gannon May, play together and I’m pretty confident that its going to be a good season in store,” Hermanson said, “and Ezra Feickert as well on his singles. You know he’s not to be forgotten down there.”

Feickert played number eight last season before moving into a varsity position this season.

Aberdeen Roncalli’s Ezra Feickert returns a volley during a doubles match against Huron Tuesday at the Northern State University tennis courts. Photo by John Davis taken 4/18/2023

“An eighth seed is definitely a lot different than a five seed,” Feickert said, “so it’s a tougher challenge.”

So far Feickert has been up to the challenge, piecing together a winning record to start the season.

When asked what the key to his solid start has been this spring, Feickert responded, “just playing consistent and try to hit a winner if possible.”

Hermanson said the Cavaliers had some competitive matches against Huron and used that momentum against Milbank, where Roncalli won all but one match.

The Bulldogs, who also lost to Huron, 8-1, had both of their wins coming from Charles Whitesitt at flight four singles.

After four duals in two days to start the week, the Cavaliers are now ready for their first outdoor home practice.

“I’m looking forward to a stretch without any matches, so we can literally just pause for a second and work on what we need to, kind of what we’ve been taking mental tabs on over the last week,” Hermanson said.

The squad will now have an opportunity to work on some of those items.

“We’ve got all these notes made in our mind what we need to work on, and we’ve even been seeing small improvements since then,” Hermanson said, “but certainly it will be nice to get some reps on the court.”

Huron 7, Aberdeen Roncalli 2


Hay Klu Moo Taw, H, def. Cason Hellwig, 10-6.

Dah Moo, H, def. Palmer Johnson, 10-4.

Lauy Kue Say, H, def. Gannon May, 10-7.

Lah Doh Soe, H, def. Sawyer Henrich, 10-6.

Ezra Feickert, AR, def. Say Poe, 10-7.

Matthew thin, H, def. Jacob Bellefeuille, 10-7.


Johnson-May, AR, def. Klu Moo Taw-Moo, 10-9 (7-3).

Doh Soe-Poe, H, def. Hellwig-Henrich, 10-3.

Kue Say-Moo Moo, H, def. Feickert-Will Haskell, 10-5.

Aberdeen Roncalli 8, Milbank Area 1


Cason Hellwig, AR, def. Joe Schulte, 10-1.

Palmer Johnson, AR, def. Greg Grabow, 10-5.

Gannon May, AR, def. Will Snaza, 10-0.

Charles Whitesitt, Mil, def. Sawyer Henrich, 10-5.

Ezra Feickert, AR, def. Isaiah Karstjens, 10-1.

Jacob Bellefeuille, AR, def. Dan Shelstad, 10-7.


Johnson-May, AR, def. Schulte-Snaza, 10-3.

Hellwig-Henrich, AR, def. Grabow-Whitesitt, 10-5.

Feickert-Haskell, AR, def. Karstjens-Will Mullenbach, 10-4.

Huron 8, Milbank Area 1


Hay Klu Moo Taw, H, def. Joe Schulte, 10-1.

Dah Moo, H, def. Greg Grabow, 10-1.

Lauy Kue Say, H, def. Will Snaza, 10-7.

Charles Whitesitt, Mil, def. Lah Doh Soe, 10-5.

Say Poe, H, def. Isaiah Karstjens, NA.

Matthew Thin, H, def. Dan Shelstad, 10-4.


Klu Moo Taw-Moo, def. Schulte-Snaza, 10-2.

Doh Soe-Hser Wah, H, def. Grabow-Whitesitt, 10-4.

Poe-Maner Htoo, H, def. Karstjens-Will Mullenbach, 10-2.

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