Ralston Invite gives top Class B tennis teams an early look at one another

The Omaha Brownell Talbot/Concordia tennis team has earned a day of rest.

It finished seventh at the 25-team Omaha Westside tournament on Friday and then was runner-up at Saturday’s 16-team Ralston Invite.

“The competition is great because they got to play Class A schools (Friday) and some tough (Class B) teams today,” Brownell Talbot coach Randy Davis said. “They played all day yesterday and all day today. Pretty tough back-to-back.”

Saturday’s invitational included three teams expected to compete for next month’s Class B state title.

Omaha Duchesne won the invite with 44 points, followed by Brownell Talbot with 34 and Grand Island Central Catholic with 33. A year ago, Brownell Talbot won state, while Duchesne was second and GICC fourth.

Duchesne won both doubles titles and No. 1 singles on Saturday, while Brownell Talbot and GICC finished in the top four in all four divisions.

“I was really happy to see the girls compete today,” said GICC coach James Lowry, whose team had only played in two duals this season before Saturday. “It’s a chance to see the best teams, the best players. It gives us a chance to at least see what we need to work on.

“If this gets rained out, maybe the first time we see some of these teams would be at state.”

On a day with sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s, both Duchesne doubles wins were decided in third set super-tiebreakers.

At No. 1 doubles, GICC’s Katie Maser and Avery Kaluoda earned a break of serve in the 10th game to win the second set 6-4. But Duchesne’s Lesley Lam and Meena Satpathy won points late in the tiebreaker to finish a 6-2, 4-6, 10-7 win.

At No. 2 doubles, Duchesne’s Jane Krueger and Kiersten Capelle outlasted GICC’s Jenna Lowry and Megan Woods 10-8 in a tiebreaker.

Duchesne also claimed the No. 1 singles final as Kate Krueger defeated Brianna Liu 6-1, 6-3. For Krueger, the 2017 singles state champ, it was her second win over Liu, last year’s state champ, in as many weeks.

After Krueger won the last five games of the first set, Liu broke Krueger’s serve to pull within 4-3 in the second set. But Krueger broke right back before serving out the win.

Brownell Talbot got the win at No. 2 singles as Savannah Walword earned a 6-4, 6-3 win over Crete’s Huong Ngo.

Team scores: Omaha Duchesne 44, Brownell Talbot 34, GICC 33, Beatrice 23, Crete 19, Blair 17, Lincoln Christian 17, Gretna 13, South Sioux City 11, CB Abraham Lincoln 10, Omaha Gross 10, Wilber-Clatonia 8, Elkhorn 5, Ralston 5, Omaha Roncalli/Mercy 3, Nebraska City 2.

Individual results (top four)

No. 1 singles: 1, Kate Krueger, OD, def. Brianna Liu, BT, 6-1, 6-3. 3, Ashlyn Kucera, GICC, def. Morgan Burenheide, Beatrice, 8-4. No. 2 singles: Savannah Walword, BT, def. Huong Ngo, Crete, 6-4, 6-3. 3, Courtney Toner, GICC, def. Alyssa Gove, LC, 8-1. No. 1 doubles: 1, Lesley Lam-Meena Satpathy, OD, def. Katie Maser-Avery Kaluoda, GICC, 6-2, 4-6, 10-7. 3, Anna Kotula-Cecan Porter, BT, def. Avery Plessel-Olivia Pfeifer, Beatrice, 8-0. No. 2 doubles: 1, Jane Krueger-Kiersten Capelle, OD, def. Jenna Lowry-Megan Woods, GICC, 6-3, 4-6, 10-8. 3, Brooklyn Schrader-Caitlyn Anderson, LC, def. Crystal Huang-Brooklyn Paskevic, BT, 8-2.