You couldn’t ask for much more. The Pella High Little Dutch finished second in Class 1A Team Tennis After they beat Norwalk 5-1 in State competition and fell to Xavier, Cedar Rapids in the championship match 5-4 Tuesday, May 28 at the Waveland Tennis Courts in Des Moines.
In the semi-finals, Coach Josiah Brandt’s Dutchmen beat Norwalk 5-1 as they took five of the six singles matches to move on down the tournament trail.
Against Xavier, Cedar Rapids, Pella led 4-2 at the conclusion of singles play with Jordan Roozeboom, Jack Edwards, Luke Diers and Geordie Laidlaw all posting wins. Three of the Pella wins came in matches that went the duration, three sets.
Doubles play was a different story and the Saints swept all three doubles matches to come from behind to win the match and the state title 5-4.
Norwalk bounced back from the first round match to Pella to beat LeMars 5-2 for third place.
Coach Brandt had a lot to talk about. He replied, “Jack Edwards had the best two weeks of tennis that I have seen in the past two weeks. He really improved and figured out how to play his best tennis. He had a huge win for us against Xavier.”
He added, “Jordan Roozeboom had a bit of a tough state tournament with a difficult draw and some cramps. For most, placing 8th at state would be great. Jordan had higher expectations for himself so he was a bit disappointed with how state went. On Tuesday, he really came back and had two giant wins for us against AJ Clarkwilt, a 1A doubles state champion and Xavier's No. 1 who got 5th at state in doubles. He played his best tennis of the year on the last day. I am proud of him for turning a rough weekend for his expectations and hopes into a great ending.”
“Luke Diers had a really rough first match of the day and then turned it around in the afternoon against Xavier. He had so many opportunities to give up and let the match go and he kept fighting and trying to find opportunities to make his opponent uncomfortable. In the end, he figured it out and won 12 games in a row.”
Brandt continued, “Geordie Laidlaw had a really impressive victory against Xavier digging deep to win in the 3rd set.”
The final analysis, “Overall, I am so happy with the effort of the team on the last day of the year. On the first day of the season we talked about playing on the last day of the year and in the last match of the year. Two years ago we were playing for third and that was definitely not our goal for this year. It was so great to see the team perform well and reach the goals we had set,” Brandt replied.
Pella 5, Norwalk 1
1A State Semifinals
Singles - No. 1 - Jordan Roozeboom (P) won 7-5, 6-4 over AJ ClarkWilt; No. 2 - Jack Edwards (P) won 6-1, 6-4 over Drew Hall; No. 3 - Carter Briggs (P) won 6-4, 6-2 over Carter LaVelle; No. 4 - Vaughn Thompson (P) won 6-1, 6-2 over Jacob Joss; No. 5 - Jason Brooner (N) won 6-2, 6-2 over Luke Diers; No. 6 - Geordie Laidlaw (P) won 6-1, 6-1 over Nate Spurr.
Xavier 5, Pella 4
1A State Finals
Singles - No. 1 - Roozeboom (P) won 6-2, 6-3 over Brady Horstmann; No. 2 - Edwards (P) won 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 over Wes Johnson; No. 3 - matthew Schmit (X) won 6-2, 6-0 over Briggs; No. 4 - Hugh Courter (X) won 6-4, 6-4 over Thompson; No. 5 - Diers (P) won 0-6, 6-4, 6-0 over Garrett Coester; No. 6 - Laidlaw (P) won 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 over Ethan Shimak.
Doubles - No. 1 - Johnson/Schmit (X) won 7-5, 6-3 over Roozeboom/Edwards; No. 2 - Horstmann/Couter (X) won 6-1, 6-2 over Briggs/Thompson; No. 3 - Coester/Shimak (X) won 6-0, 6-3 over Diers/Ezra Blasi.