With the threat of prolonged rain hanging over their heads, state tennis tournament officials last Thursday advanced a portion of second- and third-round play of the state tournament from Friday back to Thursday. As a result, a great many matches were played on that first day,
and Vermillion's entries all had the misfortune of being eliminated by nightfall.
Three Tanager players did enjoy the thrill of winning a match at the state tournament level, and the fact that two of those three were seniors was an especially satisfying aspect of the tournament.
Ethan Druin, Vermillion's contestant in the second singles flight, won a marathon in his opening match and rallying from a first-set loss to do so. Druin won 6-7 (5), 6-2, 1-0 (8) to advance to the second round. There he lost to Sioux Falls Lincoln's Jared Hofer, who had entered the state classic with a 23-1 record. Hofer won 6-0, 6-0, sending Druin, who had a bye in the next round, to a must-win situation against Roosevelt's Aaron Shogren. Druin went down 8-0 in that one to see his season come to an end with a 2-11 record.
Tyler Osborne at No. 5 singles was the other senior to pick up a win, and he too did it in his first match. Osborne defeated Austin Neuerberg of Spearfish 6-1, 4-6, 2-0 (4). Then he, too, had to face a Lincoln player, and that usually is bad news. Ryan Wood of the Patriots defeated Osborne 6-0, 6-0. Osborne had a bye in the next round but then lost to Yankton's Chance Sorenson, 8-1, to finish his senior season with a record of 4-10.
Freshman James May, playing in the third flight of singles, lost his opener to Milbank's Taylor Moore, 6-2, 6-1, but rallied to defeat Derek Dvorak of Yankton, 8-3, to remain alive. May, however, lost to Brendon Amiotte of St. Thomas More, 8-2, to see his state tourney play come to an end. He had a season's record of 3-11.
Freshman Nate Svendsen filled in at No. 1 singles for senior Wes McBride, who was unavailable for the state tournament. Svendsen lost to Layne Ryerson, Spearfish, 6-0, 6-0, and then to Mike Flynn, Brookings, 8-0.
In the fourth flight the other Tanager senior, Camden Raizola, lost first to Drew Peterson, Brandon Valley, 6-2, 6-4, then to Matt Falk, Aberdeen Roncalli, 8-1. Raizola ended the year at 1-12.
Sophomore David Day played the sixth flight for Vermillion. After a first-round bye he had to face one of Sioux Falls O'Gorman's state champions, and Ben Czamecki prevailed 6-0, 6-0. Day had a bye in the next round before bowing out against Dylan Rittershaus, Brookings, 8-3. Day's record for the spring was 0-10.
The Tanagers failed to pick up a win in any of their doubles matches. In the first flight the Svendsen/Raizola duo had a first-round bye but then lost to Entwisle and Czamecki of O'Gorman, 6-0, 6-0, and to Bedard and Prosser, Sturgis, 8-2.
Though they won a set in the second doubles flight, Druin and Day fell at the hands of Golden and Brown of Madison, 6-3, 2-6, 1-0 (4). Then the Tanager pair lost to Meyer and Claeys of Huron, 8-2, and ended their season with a 1-9 record. At No. 3 doubles the May/Osborne team had a first-round bye, lost to Snyder and Shultz of Lincoln, 6-0, 6-3, had another bye, then lost to Trevillyan and Van Egdom of Brandon Valley, 8-6, and finished the year with a 3-5 record.