CLEAR LAKE — Joe Li etched his name into the history books of St. Edmond tennis here Saturday afternoon.
Li claimed the first-ever North Central Conference singles title, leading the Gaels to a runner-up showing. Clear Lake claimed the team crown with 27 points, as St. Edmond had 20. Webster City, Iowa Falls-Alden and Hampton-Dumont/CAL rounded out the standings.
Lucas Kornder and Tyler Rossmanith placed second in doubles, while Sam Myer and Elias Kolacia finished fourth.
Li, the No. 1 seed, downed Clear Lake’s Jaxson Gerhardt in the finals. He dropped just two games in three matches, outscoring his opponents 24-2.
“I’m super honored,” Li said. “I think the whole team played great and exceeded expectations. They have worked hard and improved a lot in two months. I was really happy with my performance. I think I served well and that helped me get through three matches.
“I’m looking forward to playing districts Monday and hoping to qualify for state.”
Kornder and Rossmanith earned wins by scores of 9-7 in the first round and 8-3 in the semifinals. Meyer and Kolacia reached the semifinals and went 2-2 on the day. Casten Wacholtz also played in singles, falling to the fourth and finish place finishers in the draw.
“I was pleased with some of the play we had, in what was many of our guys’ first postseason tournament matches,” SEHS head coach Joe Perry said. “Both our doubles teams battled through some tough spots to place as well as they did. They will need to repeat that, but also clean up some mistakes for the district meet on Monday.”
St. Edmond will head to Spencer for a Class 1A district meet with Cherokee, Estherville-LC, LeMars, Sergeant Bluff-Luton, Spencer, Spirit Lake-Okoboji and Storm Lake.
Webster City’s Carter Koeppen placed fifth in singles while Jayden Wibholm and Zach Dyvig were seventh in doubles.
Today’s breaking news and more in your inbox