Yankton took a huge step toward capturing the team title in the inaugural Class A State girls tennis tournament in Sioux Falls on Monday, advancing all six players in singles, and all three doubles teams into Tuesday’s semifinal round.
The Gazelles (300) will take the team lead into the semis followed by Mitchell (279), Aberdeen Roncalli (252), Rapid City Christian (231) and Milbank (214.5).
Mitchell advanced in five singles flights — flight 3 the exception — and all three doubles flights while Rapid City Christian sent five into the championship semis though the Lady Comets took a hit in the doubles with only the flight three team remaining alive in championship play.
Advancing for Rapid City Christian in singles were Ella Hancock (flight 1), Bridget Schneller (2), Julia Anderson (3), Paige Wagner (the top-seed in 4) and Mia Shankle (6). Shankle remained in title contention in doubles as well pairing with Anna Ligtenberg to earn a semifinal spot flight 3 doubles.
“Some of the matches could have gone either way, but we are happy with five players in singles staying alive in the championship round,” Rapid City Christian coach Teresa Postma said. “We got five girls into the semis in singles with the exception being flight 5, and that was the JV person we brought up due to injury. In 1 and 2 doubles, they both played very competitively, and the matches could have gone either way for them. But the other teams lasted longer.”
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In flight 1 singles, Hancock, the 2nd seed, defeated Huron’s Kayla Harvey 6-0, 6-0 in opening round play and will meet Mitchell’s Kelsey Dahme in the semis. And in flight 2, Bridget Schneller (4th-seed) knocked off Mya Maxwell (Madison) 6-1, 6-2 to set up a Tuesday morning meeting with top-seeded Maggie Schaefer of Yankton.
Wagner, the top-seed into flight four, advanced with a 6-2, 6-1 thrashing of Pierre’s Rose Gunderson en route to a semifinal match with 4th seeded Emma Kruger of Madison.
Though Yankton’s lead over Mitchell (300-279) might appear tenuous, the Gazelles have the top seeded players alive in the top two flights in both singles and doubles where big points are available.
“We had a couple of close matches and the biggest one was probably flight 3 doubles that went all the way to a third set and our girls pulled through,” Yankton coach Vanessa Rockne said. “You can’t ask for much more as a coach than getting that kind of effort all around from your girls.”
The tournament concludes today with championship semis at 8 a.m. at the McKennan Courts. The championship singles finals are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. with the doubles semis (12:30 p.m.) and finals (1:45 p.m.) to follow.