Connect with us


Ligon goes from center stage to center court

Mason Ligon, of Aberdeen, returns a volley during a singles match Monday at the C.C. Lee Open Tennis Tournament at the Northern State University tennis courts. Photo by John Davis taken 7/10/2023

Youth tennis players from all over the region took part in the opening day of the C.C. Lee Open Junior Tennis Tournament on Monday. One in particular got reacquainted with the sport.

Mason Ligon defeated fellow Aberdeen foe Cowboy Haskell in a boys’ 14 and under singles match, and said it was an exciting battle.

“It was a really fun match, not going to lie,” Ligon said. “I kept hitting it back and we had some pretty good rallies in there. His serves were kind of killer, I’m not going to lie.”

Ligon, who will be a junior at Aberdeen Central, said he left the sport for the past two years to focus on performing in musicals, but is thrilled to be back playing tennis again.

“It’s weird. I only got to play JV for those years,” Ligon said, “so it’s fun playing high-level caliber (tennis).”

Ligon is glad to be able to get back on the court during the two-day event, and says his goal is to win the tournament.

“It’s a lot of fun because I haven’t been able to play a lot of matches this summer, so it’s really fun to get in a live scene,” Ligon said. “I’m super excited. I’m going for the win, you know.”


Brenna Erdman of Wahpeton, N.D., said coming to Aberdeen for the tournament is a highlight.

“The team comes down and we hang out,” Erdman said.

Erdman said she enjoys playing in a summer tournament like the C.C. Lee.

“It’s good,” Erdman said. “The last one that I did we had to go inside because of tornadoes and stuff, but this is my first one outside. It’s really fun.”

Brenna Erdman, of Wahpeton, returns a volley during a singles match Monday at the C.C. Lee Open Tennis Tournament at the Northern State University tennis courts. Photo by John Davis taken 7/10/2023

Erdman, who won a close match in the girls’ 16 and under singles, said the heat and her lack of practice affected her play.

“It was really hot, so that didn’t help,” Erdman said. “I haven’t practiced for about a week, so that was pretty good.”


Aberdeen’s Tylie Borge is enjoying the tournament, especially because she could learn how to play tennis and improve her skills.

“It was pretty good because we played a lot of tiebreakers and it was fascinating because I got to learn them, but then I won them and I was happy,” Borge said.

Tylie Borge, of Aberdeen, returns a volley during a singles match Monday at the C.C. Lee Open Tennis Tournament at the Northern State University tennis courts. Photo by John Davis taken 7/10/2023

Borge defeated her first-round foe in the girls’ 14 and under singles in a marathon by the scores of 3-6, 7-6 (8-6), (10-2).

Borge said it was a back-and-forth battle.

“I won in the first set. I won the first few points, but then she started catching up on me,” Borge said. “Then she won that one and the second set. She was so close to winning. Then we thought she won, but then we had to do a tiebreaker, and then I got back up to her on that.”

Borge noted that it felt “really nice” to come away with the victory and expects to win more matches when action resumes today. She was also thankful to be able to compete in the tournament.

“It’s really nice,” Borge said. “It’s my first one.”


Palmer Johnson was in a tight match on his side of the 18 and under bracket. Johnson took out the top seed, knocking off Wahpeton’s Alexander Comings to earn a spot in the semifinals.

Johnson was pleased with his performance.

“I think it was pretty good,” Johnson said. “Kind of a slow start, back-and-forth, but I managed to pull it out, which I thought was pretty good. It was a little hotter than I thought it would be.”

Johnson said the heat had a major impact on his performance.

“Usually, I think I’m pretty good about keeping up with it, but today it just kind of got the better of me,” Johnson said. “I had to take some time out in the shade, just because my body wasn’t letting me keep going.”

Palmer Johnson, of Aberdeen, reaches to return a volley during a singles match Monday at the C.C. Lee Open Tennis Tournament at the Northern State University tennis courts. Photo by John Davis taken 7/10/2023

Johnson, who plays tennis for Aberdeen Roncalli, said he understood he was facing the top seed, but not nervous.

“I was definitely a little wary of it,” Johnson said. “I was aware that he was number one and I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I went in with an open mind and just did my best.”

Johnson said he did not know anything about his opponent, which made the match all the more intriguing.

“It’s always a little scary, I guess, when you go up against someone who you have no idea anything about them,” Johnson said. “He’s from North Dakota and so I know a lot of people in South Dakota from other schools, but I don’t know anything about North Dakota. It’s always interesting going in blind, but you’ve just got to treat it like any other match, I guess.”

Johnson said it was nice to be playing in the tournament.

“It’s just fun to get back on the court,” Johnson said. “It’s pretty familiar with a normal tennis season in the school year, but it’s nice to just get back out here in the summertime when I’m kind of in the offseason.”

Johnson is excited to compete when action resumes this morning, especially since he will be facing a familiar foe this time around.

“I’m just excited that I got further,” Johnson said. “I get to play AJ Prehn and we’re friends and we usually have some pretty good matches, so I’m excited to see how that one goes.”


14-and-Under Singles

Braxton Burkett def. Caleb Stoks, 6-2, 6-1; Dawson Pederson def. Zayne Fast Horse, 6-0, 6-0; Aric Tennant def. Zachary Comings, 7-6 (7-3), 6-1.

16-and-Under Singles

Mason Ligon def. Cowboy Haskell, 6-1, 7-5

18-and-Under Singles

Palmer Johnson def. Thadius Steinberger, 6-1, 6-1; AJ Prehn def. Carter St. Aubin, 6-4, 6-0; Hunter Miller def. Grady Anderson, 6-1, 6-0; Palmer Johnson def. Alexander Comings, 7-5, 6-3; Prehn def. Gannon May, 5-7, 6-0, 10-1; Mitchell Hofer def. Cason Hellwig, 6-2, 6-2; Matthew Comings, def. Miller, 6-7 (1-7), 6-0, 10-8.

18-and-Under Doubles

Comings-Comings def. Zikmund-Cason Hellwig, 6-2, 6-3; Comings-Comings def. Anderson-Steinberger, 6-0, 6-4; Hofer-Prehn def. Johnson-May, 6-2, 6-1.


12-and-under Singles

Sarah Knie def. Rhapsody Lunsetter, 6-0, 6-0; Estelle Riggs def. Penelope Vogel, 6-0, 7-6 (9-7).

14-and-Under Singles

Ava Schuler def. Addison Hed, 6-2, 6-1; Tylie Borge def. Hannah Moderow, 3-6, 7-6 (8-6), (10-2); Catherine Jerstad def. Ravyn Skundberg, 6-0, 6-0.

14-and-Under Doubles

Lunsetter-Pitcher def. Vogel-Knie, 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-3), (10-2); Moderow-Jerstad def. Borge-Hed, 6-1, 6-1.

16-and-Under Singles

Mady Holman def. Taela Bauer, 6-1, 6-3; Raley Haskell def. Elizabeth Schuh, 6-2, 6-3; River Haskell def. Avry Fischer, 6-0, 6-1; Chloe Ladner def. Sierra DeWitt, by default; Avery Tennant def. Holman, 6-3, 6-4; Brenna Erdman def. Raley Haskell, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5); Riley O’Keefe def. River Haskell, 2-6, 7-5, (10-7); Chloe Ladner def. Addison O’Keefe, 6-0, 7-6 (7-4).

16-and-Under Doubles

(Round Robin)

Raley Haskell-River Haskell def. Dewitt-Bauer, 6-2, 6-2.

18-and-Under Singles

Reese Comstock def. Livia Douglas, 3-6, 6-3, (10-5); Julia Knie def. Madison Schmahl, 6-0, 6-1.

18-and-Under Doubles

O’Keefe-Douglas def. Schuh-Schuh, 6-2, 6-3; Joachim-Tennant def. Knie-O’Keefe, 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), (10-3).

Purchase a Photo

Browse By Category

Browse By Month

More in Tennis

Dacotah Bank