Dodgers, Gaels head to team state tennis

The Fort Dodge and St. Edmond boys tennis teams will look to finish their respective years in style, competing at team state competition on Tuesday.

The Dodgers will open against top-seeded (Class 2A) Iowa City West in Ankeny at Prairie Ridge Sports Complex. The defending 1A champion Gaels face Decorah at Waveland Tennis Courts in Des Moines.

Action is set for 8:30 a.m., with the championship match scheduled for an hour after the last semifinal takes place. The losers in the semis will meet for third.

Over the weekend, the Dodgers earned a pair of top finishes at state, as the doubles duo of Andrew Stover and Jon Bowser placed fifth, while Brian Murman was sixth in singles.

The Gaels had a strong individual tournament, as John Eide and Zach Gailey reached the doubles championship round before settling for second. Konrad Laufersweiler and Jimmy Averill placed fourth after reaching the semifinals.

Last year, St. Edmond defeated Red Oak and Dubuque Wahlert on the way to winning state gold. Eide, Gailey, Laufersweiler and Averill were all part of that team.

Solaris Nte and Surya Sawhney from Fairfield Maharishi defeated Eide and Gailey in the state doubles finals, 6-1, 6-1.

Iowa City West’s David DiLeo and Karl Wenzel won the doubles title, while Adam Dellos and Trent Schneider finished third.

Blake Oelting was the singles runner-up and Jiung Jung finished fourth.

In the other 2A semifinal, West Des Moines Valley squares off with Linn-Mar.

Linn-Mar’s Brady Anderson and Trevor McCann were doubles runner-ups.

In the other 1A semifinal, Fairfield Maharishi meets Boone. Maharishi’s Sam Stickels claimed the singles title after defeating the top two seeds.

This marks Fort Dodge’s fifth appearance at team state and first since 2009 when they placed fourth. They finished as high as runner-up in ’06.

St. Edmond has qualified for team state five times now, as well, having finished second in 2012 and 1986.