SE boys headed back to team state

For the second consecutive season, the St. Edmond boys tennis team will be vying for a state championship.

The Gaels earned two 5-0 victories in a Class 1A substate final at Dodger Courts here on Saturday.

St. Edmond, which finished second at state last year, is hoping to take care of unfinished business.

“There was a lot less celebrating (Saturday), because we were disappointed in being a state runner-up last year and we know there are bigger goals in mind,” said St. Edmond head coach Jacob Short. “We have a week now to get better and prepared.”

St. Edmond defeated Spirit Lake 5-0 in the semifinals, then knocked off Spencer by the same count in the finals.

Against Spirit Lake, individual state qualifier Aaron Chalstrom earned 6-0, 6-0 victories over Brandon Stoll.

John Eide beat Andrew Ites 6-4, 6-1. Ben Albright won over Trystan Wiedon 6-2 and 6-2.

In the No. 4 singles match, Jimmy Aveill beat CJ Kent 6-1 and 6-0. Zach Gailey closed out the Gaels’ team victory with two 6-4 wins over Ryley Smith.

“We played pretty well against Spirit Lake,” Short said. “We saw them in the second round last year and knew they had a bunch of players back.

“Their No. 1 kid was a district champion.”

In the finals, Chalstrom won two 6-0 sets over Michael Gabhart. Albright was a 6-4, 6-4 winner over Alex Kaldahl.

Averill won 6-3, 6-2 over Plueger and Gailey won 6-3, 6-1 over Jack O’hara.

Pat Hancock closed out the match and the state tournament bid with a 6-1 and 6-0 win over Joe Sherbon.

Eide started his match against Jordan Plueger. He lost the opener 6-2 and won the second set 6-3 before the fifth match was completed.

“We didn’t play quite as well against Spencer, but they’re a quality opponent,” Short said. “Their No. 1 is a four-time state qualifier.

“Our depth was a key factor in both matches.”

The Gaels No. 1 doubles team was Eide and Albright. The second spot was Chalstrom and Konrad Laufersweiler. The final doubles spot was Averill and Gailey.

The team state tournament will be held May 28 at Waveland Park in Des Moines.