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Central caps off tennis season with fifth place at state

Aberdeen Central’s Laney Gonsor returns a volley during a singles match against Rapid City Stevens at the Holgate Middle School tennis courts. Gonsor finished third at flight three singles at the State AA tournament in Sioux Falls on Friday. Photo by John Davis taken 9/15/2023

SIOUX FALLS – The Aberdeen Central tennis season came to a close on Friday and it could not have ended in a more fitting way for the Golden Eagles.

The team’s final match at the Class AA State Girls’ Tennis Tournament featured senior Laney Gonsor, who pulled out a dramatic victory, 12-10 in a tiebreaker, to secure third place at third flight singles.

“That is the perfect way to end this season, and really Laney’s whole high school career with us,” said Central coach John Vogel, “because it seems like it’s always coming down to a Laney tiebreaker and we’re all watching it.”

That win put the finishing touches on a fifth-place finish as a team for the Eagles, who scored 269 points. Sioux Falls Lincoln won the team title.

Central also received a third place finish from Reese Comstock at fifth flight singles. Things came full circle for Comstock in her 10-7 win over an opponent from O’Gorman.

“Way back when in August, she had to win that in a third set breaker,” Vogel said of the rematch between the two players. “We kind of knew it was going to be a good one and it was. It was close for a bit and she just pulled away at the end.”

Livia Douglas wrapped her up Central career by winning her final match to take fifth place at fourth flight singles.

“That was a really special one, because she was really disappointed with the two dubs from early in the morning,” Vogel said. “They were up in that one and it kind of slipped through their fingers.”

Douglas responded with a solid victory in singles action.

Aberdeen Central’s Livia Douglas returns a volley during a singles match against Rapid City Stevens at the Holgate Middle School tennis courts. Douglas finished fifth at flight four singles at the State AA tournament in Sioux Falls on Friday. Photo by John Davis taken 9/15/2023

“She was in charge of that match with the O’G girl from the get go,” Vogel said.

Central’s highest finish came at top flight doubles where Julia Knie and Avery Tennant took second.

Vogel noted that each of the three seniors who competed in the tourney – Gonsor, Douglas and Olivia Geier – all placed during their final competition for the Eagles.

“We let the seniors break it down,” Vogel said. “I was really happy to see all three seniors make podium.”

The tourney capped a memorable season for the squad, which won its first Eastern South Dakota Conference championship since 2013 last week and then earned a top five finish at state.

“We’ve been stuck at sixth the last couple of years,” Vogel said, “so I’m happy with fifth.”

Central accomplished those feats despite losing its top three players from a year ago.

“When you’re losing your top three players from last year and we did better, it was a definite success this year,” Vogel said. “I’ll remember this year probably forever.”

Team Points: Sioux Falls Lincoln 432, Rapid City Stevens 402.5, Mitchell 372.5, Sioux Falls Jefferson 318, Aberdeen Central 269, Watertown 212.5, Brandon Valley 190, Yankton 179, O’Gorman 173.5, Harrisburg 107, Brookings 72.5, Sioux Falls Washington 43, Sioux Falls Roosevelt 15.5, Rapid City Central 0.


First Flight

JULIA KNIE: lost to Addison Meyers, Brandon Valley, 10-8.

Third Flight

LANEY GONSOR: lost to Carsyn Weich, Watertown, 6-0, 6-2; def. Afton Keller, Sioux Falls Jefferson, 10-9 (12-10). THIRD PLACE.

Fourth Flight

LIVIA DOUGLAS: def. Sarah Jamous, O’Gorman, 10-5. FIFTH PLACE.

Fifth Flight

REESE COMSTOCK: lost to Madison Marsh, Rapid City Stevens, 6-3, 6-1; def. Hadley Garry, O’Gorman, 10-7. THIRD PLACE.


First Flight

JULIA KNIE-AVERY TENNANT: lost to Eloise Geraets-Charlotte Crawford, Sioux Falls Lincoln, 6-1, 6-1. SECOND PLACE.

Second Flight

LANEY GONSOR-LIVIA DOUGLAS: def. Anika Hooda-Yuki Zhu, Brookings, 8-5; lost to Keera Kriech-Abby Boersma, Brandon Valley, 8-7 (8-6). SIXTH PLACE.

Third Flight

REESE COMSTOCK-OLIVIA GEYER: lost to Madison Marsh-Bella Nelson, Rapid City Stevens, 8-5. FOURTH PLACE.

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