By Anne Homan
Jaxon Plank is pictured left with his first place award from the Pierre Invite.
The Lennox High School boys’ tennis team has been busy, traveling to Vermillion, Sioux Falls Roosevelt and Sioux Falls Jefferson at the end of the April.
On Apr. 26, the Orioles took on Vermillion and Yankton in Vermillion.
Against the Tanagers, Lennox’s varsity duos of Jaxon Plank and Andrew Daugherty; Gunnar Geiken and Mason Wilson; and Cody Plank and Eli Plank, all managed to pick up doubles’ wins giving the Orioles an early 3-0 lead in the match-up.
Lennox carried this momentum with them into singles, where every single Lennox player was able to score a win, which gave Lennox the 9-0 team victory over Vermillion.
Following their win over Vermillion, Lennox took on a strong Yankton team who placed second at State in 2021. Earning wins in doubles at flight 1 were J. Plank and Daugherty. However, that proved to be the only win Lennox could muster, as Yankton proved to be too strong at flight 2 and flight 3 for the Orioles to get the wins. Singles also proved to be challenging with Yankton flexing their muscles. Lennox dropped all six single matches and lost the dual, 1-8.
On Apr. 29 the Orioles traveled to Sioux Falls where they faced off against Sioux Falls Roosevelt and Sioux Falls Jefferson.
Against Roosevelt, Lennox earned wins at flights 1 and 3 to take an early 2-1 team lead. The success continued where in singles, J. Plank won at flight 1 and Daugherty earned a win at flight 2. C. Plank and Geiken forced their matches into tie-breakers to determine the win, but unfortunately Roosevelt earned the wins in both tie-breakers, giving them the edge and the ultimate 5-4 team win.
Against Jefferson, the Orioles had to battle their opponents, as well as the wind and cold. This time however, Lennox was able to get the edge and earn the 5-4 team victory. Helping them secure the win were the duos of J. Plank and Daugherty and C. Plank and E. Plank who earned victories in doubles. Single wins were recorded by J. Plank, Daugherty and E. Plank.
On Apr. 30 the Orioles were scheduled to take on Sioux Falls Christian, but thanks to rainy weather the match-up got moved to May 2 in Harrisburg.
“We knew this was going to be a tough battle as the Chargers were the 2021 state champions,” said head coach Kevin Plank.
Lennox played well but was only able to pull away with one win from C. Plank and E. Plank in flight 3 doubles. In singles, Lennox once again played well and battled in some close matches; however, J. Plank was the lone winner, taking the win in flight one singles.
On Thursday, May 5, the Orioles traveled to Pierre to face off against Pierre, Huron, and Spearfish.
Against Pierre, the Orioles faced off in some close matches but ultimately dropped the dual 4-5. Earning single wins were J. Plank, Daugherty and E. Plank. Grabbing wins at doubles were the duo of C. Plank and E. Plank. Against Huron, Lennox dropped the dual 2-7. Wins were recorded by J. Plank in singles and J. Plank and Daugherty in doubles.
Closing out the day with a win, Lennox was able to defeat Spearfish 8-1. Scoring wins in singles were Alex Heibult, Daugherty, C. Plank, Geiken and E. Plank. Double wins were recorded by the duos of J. Plank and Daugherty, Gieken and Welch and C. Plank and E. Plank.
On Friday, May 6 the Orioles competed in the Pierre Invite along with seven other teams. Lennox had an outstanding showing, taking fourth place overall. Individually, J. Plank was crowned the flight 1 singles champion. Daugherty earned third place at the Pierre Invite at flight 2 and Geiken and E. Plank each took fifth place in singles, Geiken at flight four and E. Plank at flight six.
In doubles, J. Plank and Daugherty earned second place at flight one in a close, hard fought battle. The duo of E. Plank and C. Plank took third at flight 3 in Pierre.
The Orioles were scheduled to wrap up their regular season on Tuesday, May 10 in Madison.
The 2022 State A Boys Tennis Tournament will be held in Rapid City on May 16-17 at Sioux Park and Parkview Tennis Complex. Action begins on May 16 at 8 a.m. with singles followed by doubles. Monday’s action is scheduled to conclude around 4 p.m. Action begins at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, May 17 with the Championship semi-finals. The Championship finals are scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday. In the event that rain moves the start of the tournament indoors on Monday, the doubles flight will begin play first. In the event that rains alters play after the tournament has begun, Tournament Directors will direct flights to indoor facilities.
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