Headed to state; three Vikings punch tickets

By Becky Walz,

The district’s top-seeded Caden Branum serves up an ace at Monday’s district competition at Luther College. The Decorah junior was crowned the district champion and advanced to state. (Driftless Multimedia photo by Becky Walz)

It took two days, which included a late start due to a morning rain shower, then a rained out afternoon for the district singles and doubles tournament, hosted by Decorah, for the Vikings to send three players to state Monday and Tuesday.
The Decorah boys tennis team hosted at one of eight district meets at Luther College to determine two singles players and two doubles teams to advance to the state tourney.  It’s a single elimination bracket, with 16 singles players and 16 doubles teams, two from each of the eight schools participating.
In the first round, all of Decorah’s players advanced. In the second round, Seth Bolson played the eventual runner-up of a very tough, well played match which was much tighter than the 6-1, 6-1 score. The doubles team of Liam Chamberlain and Aidan Nalean-Carlson played their best doubles of the year, but lost 6-2 and 6-0 to the eventual champion. Caden Branum, the top-seeded singles player, rolled into the finals without surrendering a game. In the finals his aggressive play continued, winning 6-1 and 6-4 to advance to the state tourney.
“Caden lost his concentration in the second set a bit but his opponent also changed tactics, this was a good challenge for Caden and will help him at the state tourney to have been tested,” said Coach Matt Anderson.
In doubles, the No. 2 seeded team of Daniel Skrade and Landon Baker had long delays between matches because of a very long first round match between other schools and rain delays (which caused the tournament to go 2 days), but they handled that very well and played great tennis. In the semifinals, they caught fire winning 6-1 and 6-2 and they carried that into the finals, winning the first set 6-4 against a very talented No. 1 seed from Waverly-Shell Rock. After losing a very tight second set, they eventually fell in the third set, but advanced to play at the state tournament, which was the goal from the beginning.
“The team played great over the two days, we got some tough draws but the competition will serve us well as we continue with team state qualifying this Friday,” said Coach Anderson.
Decorah hosts the Class 2A Substate 2 first and second round team tournament Friday, May 12. The Vikes will face Hampton-Dumont-CAL in the first round in the morning. A win pits Decorah against the winner of the Osage and Iowa Falls-Alden match in the afternoon.

Submit A Comment

Fill out the form to submit a comment. All comments require approval by our staff before it is displayed on the website.

Notify of
0 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments