RAPID CITY -- Aberdeen Central’s Ashley Thone will play for a state championship today after winning her semifinal match Friday at number five singles during the girls’ state tennis tournament.
Thone is the lone Aberdeen player in singles or doubles who is still remaining in the championship brackets.
The Central junior defeated Aberdeen Roncalli’s Gaby Imbery in the semis on Friday and will now face top-seeded and unbeaten Mary Billion of Sioux Falls O’Gorman in the finals at 10 this morning.
“Ashley worked hard for her win today,” said Central coach Lisa Link. “She was consistent when she had to be and she was aggressive when she wanted to be.”
Thone is making her first state tourney appearance after playing number seven for the Golden Eagles last season.
Link also pointed out a victory by Kristen and Erica Hanson against St. Thomas More in number one doubles consolation action.
“They played some aggressive doubles in their win over St. Thomas More,” Link said, noting that the outcome avenged an earlier setback to the same team during the regular season. “It was really nice to see them pull out a nice win there.”
It was bittersweet day for Roncalli, which won and lost some close matches on the day.
“The most exciting thing for us was the doubles win over St. Thomas More,” said Roncalli coach Megan Barnett, referring to a win by Tage Hanson and Erica Carrels at number two doubles. “It was a good win. It was a very intense match.”
Hanson and Carrels lost the first set before rallying to pull out the victory.
However, the two then lost a heart-breaker in the semifinals in two close sets to a team from Brandon Valley.
Barnett said that while there were some disappointments on the day, “Everybody just peaks at state. Everybody wants to win.”
The Cavaliers are still among the top four in team points with 416 and has five singles players and all three doubles teams in action today during the consolation round.
Central, which is tied for sixth in team points with 372, has all six of its players and all of its doubles teams involved in matches today.
“I’m just pleased with the confidence the girls played with throughout the day,” Link said.
During the awards presentation this afternoon, a ceremony will be held to honor former Roncalli coach Judy Rezatto, who lost her battle with cancer this past spring.
“That will be a good way to wrap it up at the end of the day,” Barnett said.
Team Points: Sioux Falls O’Gorman 577, Rapid City Stevens 514, Sioux Falls Roosevelt 514, Aberdeen Roncalli 416, St. Thomas More 414, Aberdeen Central 372, Sioux Falls Washington 372, Pierre 291, Watertown 270, Brandon Valley 245, Yankton 155, Rapid City Central 151, Sioux Falls Lincoln 107, Huron 98, Brookings 92, Milbank 81, Mitchell 71, Madison 44, Spearfish 29, Vermillion 0.