The Decorah boys tennis team earned third place at the Class 1A state team tennis tournament Tuesday. Pictured are, from left - Head Coach Reg Laursen, Karl Sand, T.J. Misseldine, Brett LaRue, Gable Lonning, Ryan Hageman, C.J. Cliff, Caleb Ulring, Assistant Coach Gordy Hunter. (Photos courtesy Kealy Connor Lonning)
The Decorah boys tennis team earned third place at the Class 1A state team tennis tournament Tuesday. Pictured are, from left - Head Coach Reg Laursen, Karl Sand, T.J. Misseldine, Brett LaRue, Gable Lonning, Ryan Hageman, C.J. Cliff, Caleb Ulring, Assistant Coach Gordy Hunter. (Photos courtesy Kealy Connor Lonning)
The seven members of the Decorah varsity boys tennis team have etched their names in Decorah netting history.
Those mighty seven did what virtually no one expected them to at the beginning of the season – accomplish their goal of competing at the Class 1A state tournament.
Not only did they compete, they did well, earning third place.
The Vikes, comprised of Caleb Ulring, C.J. Cliff, Ryan Hageman, Brett LaRue, T.J. Misseldine, Karl Sand and Gable Lonning, nearly upset the No. 1 seed and defending champion Fort Dodge in the first round Tuesday in Des Moines, then turned around and knocked off Boone in five singles matches to finish with the bronze.

THIS close
A point here and there and it would have been an upset of nearly epic proportions in the first round of the state tournament, held at the Waveland Tennis Courts.
“We thought it would be a hard-fought affair, and we were not disappointed,” said Coach Reg Laursen.
First up was singles competition.
“Singles did not go as planned. All matches were highly contested,” said Laursen. “We figured to pick up wins at the lower levels. Very close but no W’s there. Ryan played a very solid match while Caleb played the singles match of his life to get the only two singles wins. That meant we were still alive, but had a big hill to climb in winning all the doubles to win the match.”
They won two of the three, falling to Fort Dodge 5-4.
“I am actually getting choked up again as I think back about how hard the guys competed. They gave everything they had, I mean EVERYTHING,” said Laursen. “The guys came within a couple of points of pulling it off. Winning can be ecstasy while losing can be catastrophic in the moment.”

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