SE doubles teams both reach semis

WATERLOO – St. Edmond’s state duos have met on a big stage before, but after the first day of the Class 1A tennis tournament, they could be in line for a state championship showdown.

Juniors John Eide and Zach Gailey won their first two matches as did seniors Jimmy Averill and Konrad Laufersweiler.

Now with victories today, both Gael squads could meet for the Class 1A state doubles championship.

“Now they have a chance of meeting each other in the finals,” said St. Edmond head coach Tyler Philipsen. “Both of the teams have closed out well in the second set and that will hopefully carry over into today.”

These two duos have meet the previous two seasons in the district finals, with Averill and Laufersweiler winning last year and Eide and Gailey winning this year.

Eide and Gailey earned the two seed and defeated Mount Pleasant’s Zach Schmitz and Tyler Pace, 6-2 and 6-3. In the quarterfinals, they toppled Waterloo Columbus players Fran Hart and Carson Ellingson, 6-4 and 6-2.

Eide and Gailey will now face Decorah’s Karl Sand and Caleb Ulring in the semifinals. Sand and Ulring upset No. 3 seed Tom Palmer and Aaron Van Maanen of Pella.

“(Eide and Gailey) had a tougher opponent in the second match,” Philipsen said. ” They were slow to start and got things going and pulled away in the second set.”

Averill and Laufersweiler and pulled off their own upset, beating No. 4 seed C.J. Cliff and Gable Lonning of Decorah in the opener, 6-2 and 6-3. They then went on to beat LeMars Matt Ellefson and Josh Sluiter 6-3 and 6-1 in the quarterfinals.

The Gael seniors will now meet up with top-seed Solaris Nite and Surya Sawhney of Maharishi-Fairfield in the semifinals.

“Laufersweiler and Averill going unseeded was a tough thing,” Philipsen said. “They were playing like I knew they could.

“This is their senior year and they want a chance for a state title.”

Semifinal action begins today at 10 a.m. at Byrnes Park Tennis Center.