Fergus boys return to state: Otters claim back-to-back Section 6A titles [UPDATED]Published 10:00am Thursday, May 23, 2013 Updated 11:45pm Wednesday, May 22, 2013
The Fergus Falls boys tennis team will be making their second consecutive trip to the State Class A tennis tournament after powering through New London-Spicer in the Section 6A semi-final 7-0 and then defeating Foley 6-1 in the final to win the section championship. Last year’s Otter boys team defeated Foley 5-2 in the section final. We believe this is the first time the boys tennis team has made back-to-back trips to the state tournament. The section matches were played indoors in the St. John’s University field house due to rainy conditions and the indoor courts seemed to suit the Otters just fine.
“This was one of those days in sports where your team was in a zone and played extremely well, and they picked a great time to do it,” noted Otter coach Norm Newell. “They hadn’t played before on the type of surface St. John’s field house had, but they embraced it and went out and took care of their business in fine fashion.”
In the New London-Spicer semi-final match, the Otters swept through the singles with efficiency, as Fergus Falls used their strong singles line-up of Jesse Schneeberger at #1 singles (a 6-1, 6-4 winner), David Schneck at #2 singles (a 6-0, 6-2 winner), Jordan Schneeberger at #3 singles (a 6-0, 6-2 winner) and Sam Steen at #4 singles (a 6-0, 6-1 winner). In doubles, the #1 Otter duo of Jason Burns and Sam Rausch continued to play their best tennis, winning their 6th straight match at #1 doubles, and avenging an earlier loss to the New London-Spicer doubles team, with a commanding 6-2, 6-2 win. The #2 doubles team of John Makielski & Connor Hatfield started out hot winning the first set 6-1, but New London-Spicer came back to edge the Otters in the second set 7-5. But Makielski-Hatfield put their game back together and stormed through the third set 6-2 to win the match. The #3 doubles team of Brady Anderson and Jake Steen played steady throughout in winning their match 6-3, 6-3.
With their success against New London-Spicer and the players all playing well, the coaching staff went with the same line-up for the section championship match against Foley. The Otter boys kept up their intensity and fine play in decisively winning 6 of the 7 matches to win the section championship. The #1 doubles team of Burns & Rausch were first off the courts as they again continued their hot play with a 6-1, 6-4 win, once again avenging an earlier loss to the same Foley doubles team. The #3 doubles team of Anderson and Jake Steen followed shortly thereafter with another 6-3, 6-3 win as they were in control throughout the match. Jesse Schneeberger at #1 singles and David Schneck at #2 singles won their matches handily, by scores of 6-2, 6-2 and 6-1, 6-2 respectively. Schneck’s match was the 4th and deciding point for the Otters and the players cheered loudly when Schneck hit a winner for the final point. The tightest matches of the day were at the #3 and #4 singles and #2 doubles. Jordon Schneeberger got off to a slow start in his #3 singles match, down 1-4 in the first set. But he steadied his play, fought back to tie it up at 5-5, then was a few points better in the last couple of games to take the first set 7-5. Schneeberger went up 3-0 in the second set, but lost the next three games for a 3-3 tie. However, he found his focus again and took the final three games for a 6-3 set and match win. At #4 singles, the Otters took their only loss, where Sam Steen fought valiantly for every point but came up short in a 4-6, 3-6 loss. He had to use a borrowed racquet for this match as he broke is strings right at the end of the previous match. At #2 doubles, the Makielski-Hatfield duo had an instant replay practically of their first match. They were in control for a 6-3 first set win, then dropped a close second set 5-7, but came back with focus again to win the third set 6-2 and take the match.
“We rely a lot on our top three singles players and our first doubles team to set the tone, and they certainly did that in today’s matches,” stated coach Newell. “Jesse Schneeberger and David Schneck continue to show why they are two of the top singles players in the section and the doubles team of Burns and Rausch have really hit their peak at the right time. All 10 of our players today had great focus and intensity and they did it largely on their own, with very little coaching. I couldn’t be any more proud of how they played.”
The Otter team will play in the State Class A tournament on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 4th & 5th at the Reed-Sweatt Tennis Center in Minneapolis.
The Otters still have section individual play starting tomorrow, Thursday May 23rd at St. Benedict College. Jesse Schneeberger and David Schneck will play singles and Jason Burns & Sam Rausch will play in doubles along with Jordan Schneeberger & Brady Anderson. The first two rounds are Thursday, with the semi-finals and finals to be played next Tuesday, May 28th, also at St. Benedict College. The top two section singles players and top two doubles teams advance to the State Class A individual tournament held Thursday and Friday June 6th and 7th also at the Reed-Sweatt Tennis Center.
Scoring Summary: Fergus Falls 7, New London-Spicer 0
1st Singles – Jesse Schneeberger (FF) 6-1, 6-4 over Tyler Halvorson (NLS)
2nd Singles – David Schneck (FF) 6-0, 6-2 over Cody Treptau (NLS)
3rd Singles – Jordan Schneeberger (FF) 6-0, 6-2 over Nick Freeman (NLS)
4th Singles – Sam Steen (FF) 6-0, 6-1 over Caleb Schmitz (NLS)
1st Doubles – Jason Burns & Sam Rausch (FF) 6-2, 6-2 over Spencer Moller & Austin Laumb (NLS)
2nd Doubles – John Makielski & Conner Hatfield (FF) 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 over Eli Nelson & Ethan Chavala (NLS)
3rd Doubles – Brady Anderson & Jake Steen (FF) 6-3, 6-3 over John Miller & Logan Eckhoff (NLS)
Scoring Summary: Fergus Falls 6, Foley 1
1st Singles – Jesse Schneeberger (FF) 6-2, 6-2 over Zach Kantor (F)
2nd Singles – David Schneck (FF) 6-1, 6-2 over Dalton Werckman (F)
3rd Singles – Jordan Schneeberger (FF) 7-5, 6-3 over Logan Scott (F)
4th Singles – Logan Herbst (F) 6-4, 6-3 over Sam Steen (FF)
1st Doubles – Jason Burns & Sam Rausch (FF) 6-1, 6-1 over Mitchell Weiser & Ricky Bollin (F)
2nd Doubles – John Makielski & Conner Hatfield (FF) 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 over Carter Hanes & Adam Ritsche (F)
3rd Doubles – Brady Anderson & Jake Steen (FF) 6-3, 6-3 over Alex Boeckman & Jordan Zwicki (F)