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Wohnoutka, Jelken win doubles consolation championship

Lead Summary
Jason Berghorst

A pair of Luverne High School tennis players ended their season with a victory when they won the consolation championship at the 2016 Minnesota State Boys’ Tennis Tournament in Minneapolis Friday.
Senior Erik Wohnoutka and junior Chris Jelken qualified for the state tournament when they won the Section 3A doubles championship May 31.
The Cardinal duo opened doubles play at the state tournament June 9 against Jordan Ziwicki and Logan Scott of Foley.
The Luverne duo lost 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-2 to the Foley doubles team to enter the consolation bracket of the tournament.
“That was a close, very fun match to watch,” Luverne coach Greg Antoine said.  
In the first round of the consolation tournament, the Luverne team faced something Antoine had never seen at the state tournament before.
When the match against a doubles team from St. Paul Academy and Summit School was scheduled to start, only one of the two players was present.
“The rules say that after ten minutes if the player isn’t there, the other team wins by default,” Antoine said. “So, we won by default because of a no show.”
Next the LHS team faced Devin Hutton and Isaac Olson of Thief River Falls in the consolation semifinals on Friday.
 The Cardinal duo won 6-2, 6-3 to move to the championship game of the consolation bracket.
“The boys kind of dominated in that match. They looked really good,” Antoine said.  
Wohnoutka and Jelken faced Litchfield’s Josh Praul and Ben Haugo in their final match.
“The Litchfield kids were just big and strong,” Antoine said. “They were fast and aggressive to the net.”
After losing the first set 3-6, Antoine said the Luverne players “got tough and dug down” to win the second set 7-5.
The third and final set, which is played to ten points and must be won by two points, was very close throughout.
The teams were tied at 6-6 and then 8-8 before the Litchfield team went up 9-8 and could have won the match on the next serve.
Wohnoutka and Jelken fought back and went back and forth before finally coming out on top 12-10 to secure the consolation championship.
“The kids really played well that last day,” Antoine said.
“Overall, it was a great experience and we played all four days of the tournament for the first time.”

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