The Harlan Community Cyclones came up big in the Hawkeye 10 Conference Tournament for the second year in a row finishing in third place. Every player got 5th place or higher with Isaac Stitz leading the way with a 2nd place finish in the #1 singles tournament.
"I am so proud of this team today," Coach Chad Bruns said. "We were prepared and it showed. Everyone played great tennis and that really helped out the team point wise which explains our third place finish. To have everyone finish 5th place or higher is just incredible. There were a lot of great players here today so it really shows how determined everyone was, especially in the heat. I also want to thank my player-coach Preston Mulligan. He has done a great job all season and was outstanding today in helping coach Alec Plagman, Kaleb Kaster and Jonny Cheek when I was not at their matches."
Listen to Coach Bruns' radio report here.
#1 Singles-Isaac Stitz-Not Seeded-Got 2nd Place--3-1 Record
Pigtail Match-Beat Cole Scheidle(Lewis Central) 8-3
1st Round-Beat Alex Chekal(#1 Seed-Glenwood) 8-4
Semifinal-Beat Tanner Finken(#4 Seed-Kuemper) 8-6
Final-Lost to Dalton Stoaks(#2 Seed-Shenandoah)3-8
Comments: I am so proud of how Isaac played today. After an up and down season, I have been telling him he is one of the best players in the Conference and is capable of making a run if he stays focused and positive. Everything played out almost perfectly for him and it was great to see him play the best tennis of his career today.
I can't say for sure, but there haven't been many non-seeded players in the finals in the #1 singles tournament over the years from what I remember. To beat the #1 and #4 seed, both of whom Isaac had lost to before, is a huge accomplishment.
#2 Singles-Alec Plagman-#3 Seed-Got 5th Place--2-1 Record
1st Round-Lost to Nile Petersen(Atlantic) 7-9
Consolation Semifinal-Beat Justin Choi(St. Albert's) 8-3
Consolation Final-Beat Justin Buzzard(Shenandoah) 8-4
Comments: Alec drew a very tough player in the first round, Nile Petersen from Atlantic. Nile was undefeated this season for a very strong Atlantic team at #4 singles and is also the son of former Atlantic tennis coach, Shawn Petersen. I knew it would be a tough match for Alec and sure enough it was. Alec was down 0-4 to start but battled back and got real close at the end but just couldn't get over the hump. I am very proud of how Alec bounced back and won his next two matches to get 5th place.
#1 Doubles-Josh Cheek/Caleb Rasmussen-Not Seeded-Got 3rd Place--3-1 Record
Pigtail Match-Beat Alex Best/Bradie Williams(Shenandoah) 8-4
1st Round-Beat Conner Andersen/Sam Weber(#3 Seed-Denison) 8-5
Semifinals-Lost to Jacob Cook/Jaden Driscoll(#2 Seed-Creston) 5-8
3rd/4th Place Match-Beat Justin Schroeder/Reed Rawlings(#4 Seed Kuemper) 8-6
Comments: Josh and Caleb played great today. Both rose to the occasion and beat two seeded teams and came close to beating the #2 seeded team from Creston as well. They did everything you have to do in doubles to have success-get first serves in, volley and lob well, hit away from the person at the net and finish overheads. Josh and Caleb are great competitors and are usually the better athletes on the court in their doubles matches. These two traits definitely helped them out yesterday. Great, great day from these two!
#2 Doubles-Kaleb Kaster/Jonny Cheek-Not Seeded-Got 5th Place
Pigtail Match-Beat Emilien Florentine/Tristin Davidson(Creston) 8-5
1st Round-Lost to Matt Detlinger/Colin Uhlenkamp(Kuemper) 1-8
Consolation 1st Round-Beat Ryan Messinger/Garrett Rolenc(Red Oak) 9-8(10-8)
Consolation Semifinal-Beat Sam Narmi/Christian Boer(St. Albert's) 8-5
Consolation Final-Beat Tyler Luckado/Owen Smith(Shenandoah) 8-5
Comments: First, let me start by saying that Kaleb Kaster has only lost one match in the #2 doubles tournament in two years with a 7-1 record. He won the #2 doubles championship last year with Josh Cheek. Great job!
Kaleb and Jonny went 4-1 on the day. That is a lot of matches for anyone in one day, especially in 90 degree heat. These two dug down deep and fought hard and played great tennis in the process. besided getting 5th place and going 4-1 on the day, the highlight for this team was the Red Oak match. Red Oak had three match points in the tiebreaker but Kaleb and Jonny found a way to comeback and win. Outstanding!
Final Team Standings
1. Carroll Kuemper-25
9. Red Oak/St. Albert's-4
11. Lewis Central-1