Spartan boys back in substate tennis tourney

Grundy Center's Sage Klar fires back a volley during a district semifinal singles match with Waterloo Columbus' Daniel Buchanan in Waterloo on Wednesday. (Jake Ryder/The Grundy Register)

WATERLOO – Grundy Center boys tennis will return to the substate team tennis tournament after a third-place finish at a district tourney at Byrnes Park Tennis Center in Waterloo on Wednesday.


The Spartans will travel to Aplington to play district runner-up Aplington-Parkersburg on Saturday at 9 a.m. with the winner qualifying for the substate tournament in Dubuque Wahlert. Waverly-Shell Rock won the district title and automatically advances to the Wahlert tournament.


It's the second-consecutive prelim substate berth for Grundy Center, which qualified for substate last spring with a win over North Polk in the prelims.


"We're loaded with seniors this year and it's good for them to get their time in and finish it like this," GC head coach Dale Boren said. "We knew we were going to have to face some horses from Waverly, [Waterloo] Columbus, A-P, so to come out here and make the prelim, we're extremely happy."


The Spartans were led by one of those seniors, Sage Klar, who finished fourth in the singles tournament. He started the day with straight-set wins against Decorah's Billy Lange and Union's Hunter Fleshner but bowed out to eventual district champion Daniel Buchanan of Waterloo Columbus in the semifinals. Aidan Hunter of Decorah won a third-set 10-point tiebreaker with Klar in the third-place match.


"Sage is upset that he didn't get to go to state as a single in his senior year but the team player that he is, he's happy to get the team where they're at," Boren said.


Tjaden Meester added a first-round singles victory over Jason Craig of Waverly-Shell Rock in straight sets. The Spartans' doubles teams of Garret Weldon/Landon Graham and Nick Voss/Aaron Havens each won their opening-round matches as well to contribute to Grundy's team total.


The Spartans finished in a team total tie with Aplington-Parkersburg but A-P won the tiebreaker with a win at third-place doubles.


It's still a favorable matchup for Grundy Center with the confidence of a win just over a week prior in Aplington, defeating the Falcons 6-3 in a regular-season dual on May 3.


PHOTO GALLERY: Grundy Center boys district tennis