Otter netmen send 4 to section semi-finalsPublished 8:03am Friday, May 24, 2013
The Fergus Falls boys tennis team has continued their success in the Section 6A tennis tournament. The day after they captured the team title with a 6-1 win over the Foley Falcons, six individual players went back to the St. Cloud area to compete in the first two rounds of the section individual tournament. Each team in the section is allowed 2 singles players and 2 doubles teams in the individual competition, with the champion and runner-up in both singles and doubles qualifying for the state individual tournament. The Otters had a good day, qualifying four players for the semi-finals to be held next Tuesday at St. Benedict College. Winners in the semi-finals will meet for the championship that same day.
Senior Jesse Schneeberger was last year’s Section 6A runner-up in singles to teammate Jake Anderson and a state qualifier that went on to win the State Class A Consolation Championship. With Anderson graduated, Schneeberger was awarded the number one seed and had a first round bye. In the second round, he started slowly against Foley’s Ricky Bollin, dropping the first set in a tie-breaker 6-7 (3-7). But Schneeberger changed his tactics to come to the net and put pressure on Bollin and completely turned the match around, winning the final two sets 6-1, 6-0 to win the match and qualify for the semi-finals.
Junior David Schneck, with only one loss on the entire year, was awarded the second seed and also had a first round bye. In the second round he ran over Ryan Jamison of St. Cloud Cathedral by a 6-1, 6-1 score. Schneck will also play in the semi-finals next Tuesday.
Senior Jason Burns and Junior Sam Rausch were given the #2 seed in doubles and also had a first round bye. In the second round, they played Minnewaska’s top two players Jake Pederson and Karl Thorfinnson and had a tough match played at a high level. The teams split the first two sets, with the Fergus Falls duo winning the first set 6-2 and Minnewaska taking the second set 7-5. With the match at 3-3 in the third and deciding set Burns and Rausch turned it up a notch and breezed through the final three games to win that set 6-3 and win the match. They also will play in the semi-finals next Tuesday.
Fergus Falls’ other doubles team of Jordan Schneeberger and Brady Anderson received the 9th seed and played the 8th seeded team from Long Prairie Travis Bergman and Paul Chan, their #1 doubles team all year. Even though Schneeberger and Anderson hadn’t been paired in doubles all year, they played better and better together as the match went on and after dropping the first set 4-6, they came back to control the match and win the last two sets going away 6-2, 6-3. In the second round, they had to face the #1 seeded doubles team of Zach Kantor and Mitch Weisser of Foley, their #1 singles and #1 doubles players. Schneeberger and Anderson played a great match and came within a few shots of upsetting the top team, but finally succumbed in a three set marathon, 3-6, 6-4, 5-7.
“After a long day of excitement yesterday where the team won the right to go to state, the individual players had to leave at 6:45 in the morning again to travel to St. Joseph for more tennis and I think their slow starts had more to do with weariness than anything else,” noted Otter coach Norm Newell. “ But then their competitiveness and determination kicked in and they played like I knew they were capable of. Jordan Schneeberger and Brady Anderson got thrown into the doubles fire so to speak, but they played hard and represented themselves and the Otters very well, coming within a few shots of taking down the #1 seeded team.”