Viking tennis duo finishes third at state

By Becky Walz,

Decorah boys’ tennis doubles team Gabe Anderson and Caden Branum put an exclamation point on the 2021 season with a third-place finish at the individual state tournament over the weekend.
The pair earned a No. 4 seed to the double’s tournament using their previous wins over Columbus as their main leverage tool as Columbus had defeated other teams in the field.  
“The good news was the No. 4 seed, the bad news was that they drew one of the toughest, first round, non-seeded opponents in Wilkins and Jaworski of Grinnell. Friday Anderson/Branum rose to the challenge after falling behind 3-5 in the first set. The Viking pair brought it back to 6-6 and a tiebreaker and then got down 3-6 in the tiebreaker. They forgot to read the memo that these were insurmountable mountains to climb and came away with a first set victory of 7-6 (TB 8-6). In the second set they fought off numerous break of serve points, again against impossible odds, to win that set 6-4, hence winning the match. The second round was almost anticlimactic, with a much less stressful 6-2, 6-2 win over Hicks and Soppe of Carol-Kuemper. These wins put them in the final four on Saturday,” explained Coach Reg Laursen.
Saturday started with a date with the No. 1 seeds Horstmann and Schmit of Xavier, who had a slightly unconventional style which kept Anderson/Branum off balance resulting in the Decorah duo’s defeat 1-6, 2-6.
“To their credit Gabe and Caden regrouped and maximized playing to their strengths, hitting sizzling serves and ground strokes to defeat the No. 3 seeded team, Fair/Freiburger of Dubuque Wahlert 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 (10-7), to earn the medals for third place at state. This is the best finish of any Decorah tennis player since the championship season of 2015. These guys have had an outstanding work ethic this past year and have shown uncommon mental toughness through this tournament run,” said Coach Laursen.

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