McCook rackets looking to build on last year's state performance

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
McCook’s 2017 boys state tennis team includes, left to right, Sam Knoll, Syd Wier, Spencer Krysl, Von Fritsche, Mason Michaelis and Zion Moyer. Tournament play begins Thursday at Lincoln’s Woods Tennis Complex.
Gabe Gauthier/McCook Gazette

McCOOK, Neb. -- The McCook boys tennis team will open the Class B State Tournament Thursday at Lincoln’s Woods Tennis Center. A breakdown of McCook’s entries follows.

No. 1 Singles: Syd Wier (11-23), unseeded

vs. Quinn Feenstra (South Sioux City)

2017 has been a big learning experience for Wier. Going up against the top tennis player from every school McCook played, Wier noted that it hasn’t always been easy transitioning to full-time singles action.

“I had never played it (singles) before and I did it all season. I enjoyed it a lot and have gotten a lot better as the year’s gone along.”

Wier opens the Class B No. 1 Singles bracket with a match against unseeded Quinn Feenstra of South Sioux City. Should Wier win, he will advance to play Elkhorn South’s Mason Meier, who is 22-0 and the three-time Class B No. 1 Singles state champion. Meier recently committed to Nebraska to play tennis for the Huskers next season.

“He’s alright,” Wier joked about Meier.

No. 2 Singles: Zion Moyer (22-11), No. 9 seed

vs. Gavin Cismoski (Omaha Roncalli)

Moyer built on a successful freshman season with a 22-win sophomore campaign at No. 2 Singles. Heading into the state tournament as the No. 9 seed, McCook head coach Matt Wiemers expressed a lot of confidence in his young singles player.

“We love the position he’s in,” Wiemers said about Moyer. “We just want him to continue to build as a player and carry his play into this final weekend.”

As one of the 12 seeded players, Moyer opens with an unseeded opponent in Gavin Cismoski of Omaha Roncalli. He said he’s looking forward to playing someone from a school McCook normally doesn’t play.

“We don’t normally see this school, so I’m looking forward to playing against him (Cismoski).”

No. 1 Doubles: Sam Knoll/Spencer Krysl (28-6), No. 6 seed

vs. Dyson Dollarhide/Hunter Walker (Gering)

McCook’s most successful entry this season almost never happened.

Spencer Krysl mulled over the possibility of not playing tennis his senior year to focus on baseball. After a long talk with Wiemers, Krysl decided to do one final year on the courts. The results have been nothing short of great.

“He (Wiemers) said, ‘Just try it. It’s your senior year, you’ve played three seasons,’ and I told him I didn’t want to play singles. He asked me who I wanted to play with and I said Sam. We’ve grown up together, so we’ve got good team chemistry.”

What followed was a 28-win season for the senior duo.

As the No. 6 seed, Knoll and Krysl were the highest seed to not receive a first-round bye. That meant favorable draws in the first and second rounds.

Krysl and Knoll open with Gering, a team the McCook seniors swept this season.

“Gering’s a good match to start out with,” Knoll said. “It’ll help us calm down, get used to the (state tournament) environment and get all the nervousness out.”

With a first-round win, Knoll and Krysl would likely play No. 11 Matthew Bolas and Connor Barrett of Omaha Skutt, who are 14-7. Being a school from eastern Nebraska, Knoll acknowledged there would be unfamiliarity playing a quality SkyHawk team, but he also expressed confidence should the matchup happen.

“We’re just planning to just come out, play hard and enjoy the moment.”

No. 2 Doubles: Von Fritsche/Mason Michaelis (18-9), No. 9 seed

vs. Elijah Simpson/Ian Barnes (Omaha Roncalli)

Von Fritsche and Mason Michaelis don’t look like they would play doubles tennis together. However, a midseason change meant Michaelis, a freshman, would join Fritsche, a senior, in McCook’s varsity No. 2 Doubles team.

The result? An 18-9 record and a No. 9 seed in the Class B State Tournament.

No bad at all.

“He (Fritsche) plays really well at the net and I’m better at the back, so it’s a pretty good combination,” Michaelis said.

Fritsche is looking to make up for lost time after missing last year’s state tournament with an injury.

“Every now and then I wish I could have that back, but it’s been a good year.”

Fritsche and Michaelis will play an unseeded Omaha Roncalli duo in the opening round. A win would advance them to play Elkhorn or Waverly.

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