Gaels advance pair of doubles teams

Despite some hiccups and less than ideal weather, things went almost as expected for the St. Edmond boys tennis team during a Class 1A district meet here Thursday.

The Gaels swept the doubles field, as John Eide and Zach Gailey were champions, with Jimmy Averill and Konrad Laufersweiler advancing as runners-up.

St. Edmond, which won the 1A team title last year, also earned the district championship. They will compete on May 24 for one of four spots in the state team field.

“That is the thing I am most happy about,” said first-year SEHS head coach Tyler Philipsen. “The boys have gotten used to winning and advancing, but you could still see the excitement they had moving on as a team.

“They are eager to find out who they will play next and get back to defend their title. They have their sights set on the end.”

The Gaels will find out their future opponents after preliminary substate takes place this Saturday.

As for Eide, Gailey, Averill and Laufersweiler, they are headed back to state and the doubles field, which is set for May 30-31 at Byrnes Park Tennis Complex.

Juniors Eide and Gailey (4-0) have had limited time on the court this season due to an injury suffered by Eide in the offseason. They earned straight-set wins throughout the district tournament, including a 6-2, 6-1 victory in the finals.

“They have a lot of experience playing together, especially from last year,” Philipsen said. “In the finals, they just had things really clicking and looked good.

“They were the No. 2 seed, but I think that was just because of their lack of matches played together this year.”

Last season, Eide and Gailey lost to Averill and Laufersweiler in the district final. Both sets of Gael players went 1-4 at state last spring.

“Jimmy and Konrad were playing really well together and looking good at the net,” Philipsen said. “They just ran into a really hot team in John and Zach.”

Patrick Hancock and Ben Albright played in singles for St. Edmond, going 3-3 on the day. Hancock, a senior, finished fourth after winning two matches, while Albright, a junior, went 1-1 and lost to eventual district champion Sam Jones of Clear Lake.

“Patrick just ran out of steam in his third place match,” Philipsen said. “And Ben ran into a very tough player in Jones.

“Still, they helped us score points and earn the district title.”

Team state is set for June 3 in Des Moines.