Boys Lakes Conference Tennis Tournament

Mon 5-5-2014

The Lakes Conference Boys Tennis Tournament was hosted by Spirit Lake-Okoboji on Saturday, May 3.

Team Results:
1st: Spencer - 18 points
2nd: Spirit Lake-Okoboji - 11 points
3rd: LeMars - 10 points
4th: Storm Lake - 9 points
5th: Cherokee - 7 points
6th: Estherville LC - 5 points

Individual Event Champions:
#1 Singles - Alex Kaldahl, Spencer
#1 Doubles - Michael O'Brien & Ryley Smith, Spirit Lake-Okoboji - First Team All-Conference Honors
#2 Singles - Brady Pleuger, Spencer
#2 Doubles - Will Fuelberth & Jason Thorn, Spirit Lake-Okoboji - All-Conference Honorable Mention

Spirit Lake-Okoboji Individual Finishes:
#1 Singles - Hunter Andreason, 5th Place, 1-4 record
#1 Doubles - Michael O'Brien & Ryley Smith, 1st Place, 4-1 record
#2 Singles - Nick Goodenow, 5th Place, 1-4 record
#2 Doubles - Will Fuelberth & Jason Thorn, 1st Place, 5-0 record

This was a terrific result for our team. All the teams at the tournament knew that Spencer would be the favorite to win, and the competition for 2nd place would be extremely tight, and it was just that. The way we placed our players in the individual events was different than most of the schools. Most of the teams loaded up the singles, putting their top two players in the #1 and #2 singles divisions. We, however, went strong in doubles, and while Spencer was just too tough for anyone to make a run at them, I believe going strong in doubles is what made it possible for us to nudge ahead of the rest of the pack and take 2nd as a team. Michael and Ryley came into the tournament with the goal of winning the group, and they did just that. They looked great their first match, but then had a set where they didn't play as well, and the team from Estherville hit some big forehands against them to take the win. But we knew that if we won those last 3 matches they would at least finish in the top 2 for 1st Team All-Conference honors, and could even still win it. Things had to happen just right, and they did, as Estherville lost a 2nd match to Spencer in a tiebreak, and Michael and Ryley did win their last 3, including winning the final round against Spencer to take 1st place. Since we went strong in doubles, and the other teams went strong in singles, Hunter Andreason, who plays #3 for us in dual meets, had some very tough competition. I think he played well, as he did get 1 victory on the day, and the other 4 sets he played some great points, got a lot of games to deuce, and wasn't shut out in any of those sets. He showed that, as a Sophomore, he is improving meet by meet, and he will be a very strong competitor in the conference for the next couple years. I, personally, didn't have the opportunity to watch the rest of our guys in #2 singles and doubles, but those who did watch said they played some strong tennis as well. Will & Jason had a super tournament, finishing the #2 doubles with a perfect 5-0 record. I knew they would be a strong team in that group going into the day and believed they had an excellent chance to win, and they did just that. It was a new partnership for them, as they each have been playing with other partners this season. But they do compliment each other well, they have good chemistry, and they both play the net well, which is very important to success in doubles. And in #2 singles, just as in the #1 division, many of the teams went strong, putting their #2 or #3 singles players in the lineup, so Nick had his work cut out for him. But like Hunter, he came away with 1 victory, and hung in there tough against players who are several spots higher than him on their team's lineup. It's great to see the guys continue to improve as the season progresses, and it's terrific to see this result after a week where all 3 dual meets were rained out, and the ability to practice was very limited. They are hitting their stride at just the right time, as we are coming into the last 2 weeks of the season, and districts is just over a week away. -Head Coach Dan Taylor