WATERLOO - Ballard’s doubles team of Seth Wohlgemuth and Chase Winterboer ended their careers by placing at the Class 1A boys’ state singles and doubles tennis tournament Friday and Saturday at the Byrnes Park Tennis Center in Waterloo.
Wohlgemuth and Winterboer managed to turn heads after going 2-3 to place eighth, despite not being seeded entering the tournament.
“Seth and Chase played some really good tennis,” Ballard head boys’ tennis coach Matt Fjelland said. “They had some great matchups that allowed them to win and advance to the Saturday rounds.”
The Bomber duo lost to Bishop Heelan’s Koby Bork and Brenden Frey in the first round of championship play, but responded with back-to-back victories in the consolation round.
Bork and Frey handed Wohlgemuth and Winterboer 6-2 and 6-1 defeats. Wohlgemuth and Winterboer came back to sweep Oskaloosa’s Cade Snakenberg and Colton Stout by the exact same scores of 6-2 and 6-1 to advance to the consolation second round.
In the consolation second round, the Bomber team took on Clarinda’s Alex Best and Brady Williams. Wohlgemuth and Winterboer scored hard-fought 6-3 and 7-5 victories to advance to Saturday’s competition.
The consolation third round saw Wohlgemuth and Winterboer fall to Denison-Schleswig’s Sean Moran and Colin Reis in a highly-competitive battle. Moran and Reis won a by a single game in the first set, 7-6, then claimed a 7-5 victory in the second.
The loss pitted Wohlgemuth and Winterboer in a rematch against Bork and Frey in the seventh-place match. Bork and Frey prevailed again in straight sets, this time by 6-0 and 6-1 decisions.
“Finishing eighth ties a school record with Brody Echer and Mark Mosher (2016) for the highest finish in the state tournament,” Fjelland said.
Caleb Hamerlinck and Max Olsan also competed in the doubles tournament for Ballard. The Bomber team entered as the No. 4 seed and finished 1-2.
Hamerlinck and Olsan fell to Moran and Ries in the first round in straight sets, 6-2 and 7-5. In the consolation first round, the Bomber team regrouped to sweep Mount Pleasant’s Corbin Broeker and Jaxon Hoyle, winning the first set by a 6-3 margin and scoring a 7-5 victory in the second.
The consolation second round put Hamerlinck and Olsan up against Cedar Rapids Xavier’s Brady Horstmann and Hugh Courter. The Bomber tandem lost a barnburner that lasted the full three sets.
Horstmann and Courter won a 7-6 thriller in the first set. Hamerlinck and Olsan came back strong in the second set with a 6-3 win to force an ultimate tiebreaker, but they ran out of momentum, falling by a 10-5 score to drop the match.
“Max and Caleb ran into a great Xavier team that ended up getting fifth overall,” Fjelland said. “They ended their season with four total losses in doubles, and all losses were to teams that finished in the top six in the state.”
It marked the end of a record year for Ballard boys’ tennis that saw the Bombers set the school record for wins as a team by finishing 13-2 and Olsan finish as the school’s all-time leader for career victories.
“Overall, qualifying four kids to a state meet is a school record,” Fjelland said. “I’m proud of how each kid competed against really good competition.”
“We would have liked to advance both teams to Saturday and that was unfortunate,” Fjelland said. “All four are seniors and gave so much to our program. They have impacted Ballard tennis in a positive way and I am very fortunate to have coached each one of them, along with all 13 seniors we had out for tennis this past year.”
Norwalk’s doubles team of A.J. Clarkwilt and Drew Hall won the 1A doubles state title. Aplington-Parkersburg’s Cameron Luhring was the 1A singles champion.