Vikings drop close one to Union; fifth at Clinon

By Becky Walz,

EDITOR’S NOTE: The April 27 publication of the Driftless Journal inadvertantly published the results from the Decorah versus Oelwein meet held earlier in April, using names and stats from that date. In fact,  the Decorah girls’ tennis team hosted Union Thursday dropping the contest 5-4 and then ventured to Clinton for a tournament Saturday, once again seeing a pair of perennial powerhouses in Waterloo Columbus and Clinton.
“We had a second chance on Saturday to gauge our improvement since that first encounter. Given the chance to play the same girls again in many of the flights, Decorah has really stepped it up. The Clinton tourney could prove to be a perfectly placed stepping stone to next week’s conference tournament to be held in Waverly. Saturday’s tourney was full of highlight plays and gutty efforts. But the tourney also left the players knowing that they have weak points in their game that need to be addressed. Winning tennis players recognize an opponent’s weak points and have the ability to exploit them. The girls know what they need to tweak in order to become the exploiters and not the exploited,” said Coach Larry Berland.

Oh, so close
Annalise Skrade put up a good fight versus Union’s Alexa Weber, but in the end dropped the No. 1 singles match, 2-6, 6-7 (3-7). At the No. 2 singles spot, Morgan Brauer fell to Belle Weber, 2-6 and 3-6. Cady Peterson put Decorah in the win column at the No. 3 spot. Peterson defeated Madelon Rathe in a pair of 6-1 sets. Mara Holland also won her No. 4 match against Ellie Behrens, 6-7 (7-9), 6-4 and 10-6. Playing at the No. 4 spot was Kristi-Kjome-Johnson, the Viking knocked off Sophie Winklepeck, 6-2 and 6-1. Kendra Bigler came oh-so-close against Miya Kempe as the sets came down to 4-6, 7-6 (9-7) and 8-10.
In the doubles competition, Skrade/Holland fell to the Weber duo in a pair of 3-6 sets. Brauer/Peterson teamed up to best Behrens/Winklepeck by scores of 7-6 (7-3) and 6-1. The meet win came down to the final doubles match between Bigler/Paige Lange and Rathe/Laura Rempe with the Union pair edging Decorah 6-7 (8-10) and 3-6.

Sunny weather
The Vikings migrated south to warm up Saturday and found the weather sunny and pleasant, while the tennis played was scorching. Among teams competing were six Class 2A schools and last year’s Class 1A state champions, as Decorah finished fifth with 12 points.
“In singles, Nadia Johnson placed second, losing in the final to Hayden Evans from Pleasant Valley, 3-8. From Nadia’s first match to her last match, her tennis strokes showed an amazing improvement allowing her to place her shots and causing all types of trouble for her opponents. Although the score in her final match for the flight championship looks lopsided, there were a bunch of deuce games that were settled by one shot in the no-add format,” said Coach Berland. 
“Two seniors, Cady Peterson and Morgan Brauer, pulled off the highlight matches of the day when both of them came back from the dead in their first singles matches of the day. Trailing by a 2-7 margin in her first singles match of the day, Cady completely turned the match upside down and won the next seven games to win her match 9-7. Meantime, Morgan found herself in a similar predicament trailing in her first match of the day, 0-5. Morgan then said enough is enough and methodically disposed of her opponent, 8-6. The many Decorah fans at the tourney went nuts,” Berland added.
In doubles play, Annalise Skrade and Mara Holland fought their way into the championship match of No. 2 doubles by defeating the No. 1 seeded duo from Waterloo Columbus, 8-6. Playing with solid determination in all three of their matches, they dispensed with the fifth-seeded Camanche team, 8-1 in their first match and then pulled off the stunner by beating a Columbus team. In the final, Skrade/Holland came within, two points of winning the championship. 
“If they had been able to win two of the deuce points in the no-add format they would have been the champs. Tennis does not get much better than that. In three doubles, Kendra Bigler and Kristi Kjome-Johnson finished play in fourth place. Again, their matches were decided by numerous no-add points,” concluded Coach Berland.

Clinton tournament team scores
1. Waterloo Columbus 28.5; 2. Clinton 24.5; 3. Pleasant Valley 13.5; 4. Bettendorf 13; 5. Decorah 12; 6. Burlington 2.5; 7. North Scott 1.5; 8. Camanche 0.5; 9. Davenport North 0

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