Otters’ Burns, Rausch in state consolation roundPublished 8:12am Friday, June 7, 2013
The Fergus Falls boys tennis season, for the second year in a row, has been extended into the last possible day of the tennis season as Jason Burns and Sam Rausch won their second round doubles match Thursday to go into Friday’s state consolation semi-finals. Last year, Jesse Schneeberger played on the last day, running through the consolation bracket to win the consolation championship medal. Playing for the third day in a row at the Reed-Sweatt Tennis Center in Minneapolis, the Fergus Falls team sent two singles players, Jesse Schneeberger and David Schneck, along with the doubles team of Burns and Rausch into the state individual tournament.
Burns and Rausch lost their first match to the Virginia pair of Joey Skaudis and Tom Prittinen 3-6, 3-6. This was Virginia’s #1 and #2 singles players, not the first doubles team that Burns and Rausch defeated Tuesday in the first round of the team tournament. In the consolation round, the Otter duo started very slowly, losing the first set 1-6. But they stayed positive and turned it around big time, cruising through the second set 6-0 and taking the third set tie-breaker 10-4 to win the match. That puts the pair into the consolation semi-finals at 8:00 am Friday morning. They will play the team of Fondrick & Fondrick from Detroit Lakes.
In singles play, senior captain Jesse Schneeberger won his first round match over Jack Dodd of Duluth despite rolling his ankle in the second set and playing in pain the rest of the match. He was up a set 6-3 and it was 4-4 in the second when he turned for a shot and rolled over his ankle. He went on to lose that set 4-6. In the break before the third set, he had his ankle taped and he gamely played on. Going for more winners to reduce the amount of running he had to do, he came out strong and powered through the final set 6-2 to put him into the second round of the winner’s bracket. However, he faced the tall task of playing the #1 seed, Charlie Adams of the Blake School, and with limited mobility and he went down 0-6, 0-6. It marked the end of his stellar Fergus Falls tennis career. Schneeberger has played on the Otter varsity team since he was in 8th grade and without the exact stats we are sure he has over 80 wins in his career. We do know he has won over 20 matches in each of his last three years, playing at the top #2 and #1 singles slots. He has cemented his legacy as one of the top players to wear the Otter maroon and gold. His tennis isn’t done, however, as he plans to attend Concordia College in Moorhead and play for the Cobber tennis team.
Also in singles play, David Schneck had a tough draw against the #3 seed from Blake School, Kavir Kumar. Schneck lost 0-6, 3-6. He then went into the consolation bracket and met Lars Scannell from Cook County School. Schneck developed nose-bleed and breathing problems early into the match and despite his best efforts to overcome his weakened condition, he just couldn’t quite keep up the energy he needed against a strong player and fell 3-6, 6-7 (2-7).
On Friday, if Burns & Rausch win, they would play for the consolation championship at 11:30 AM. If they lose, they would be out and the Otter season would come to a final close.