School News

Pioneer Boys Take Third to Conclude Good Run

DES MOINES — On the heels of Sam Stickels’ third-place finish at the state singles tournament over the weekend, the Pioneer sophomore’s team earned an identical placing in the Class 1A final four Tuesday on the Waveland Tennis Courts in Des Moines.

In their state-record ninth consecutive trip to the state team tournament, the Pioneers finished third overall behind state champion St. Edmond (Fort Dodge) and runner-up Dubuque Wahlert. The third-place finish was New Indian School’s fourth in its storied history.

First-year head coach Steve Briggs was happy with the finish, but he said the Pioneers were judged not only against the state’s best teams but their program’s own history.

“Third place is good, but it’s sort of the standard here at New Indian School,” said Briggs. “We’ve been doing it nine years in a row, and we were trying to get over the hump.”

And while New Indian School didn’t add a fifth team championship to its trophy case Tuesday, they did go out winners on the state courts. The Pioneers bounced Red Oak 5-0 in the consolation final after opening the tourney with a close, 5-3 loss to Wahlert.

Winners in the consolation final for New Indian School included senior Raphael Gelfand (6-2, 6-2) at No. 2 and junior Solaris Nite at No. 3 (6-4, 6-1). Junior Surya Sawhney and freshman Chandre Morales didn’t drop a game on their way to 6-0, 6-0 wins at Nos. 4 and 5, respectively. Junior Avery Mullenneaux picked up a win at No. 6 (6-2, 6-1) to close out the match.

In the semifinal loss to Wahlert, New Indian School picked up a pair of singles wins from Nite and Morales. Nite defeated Wahlert’s Gavin Bell (6-3, 6-4) at No. 3 singles, and Morales won in quick fashion vs. Will McDonald (6-1, 6-1).

The Pioneers also picked up one win in doubles play prior to Wahlert clinching the match. The No. 3 duo of Girindra Selleck and Surya Sawhney blasted McDonald and Jackson Takes 6-3, 6-0.

Briggs saved some of his biggest praise for Gelfand, the roster’s only senior.

“Raffi played as good as anyone on the team yesterday. Even though he didn’t get the win [against Dubuque’s Tom Runde], Raffi was playing great. Sometimes you can play great and still just be playing someone better.”

A day after wrapping up another successful season, Briggs was already thinking about next season and a record 10th straight appearance at the tournament. Out of the seven Pioneers who competed at the state tournament Tuesday, six return to the perennial power next year.

“I’m looking at next year and we lose one guy, but we have several returning kids who were big for us this year. I think we’ll be in the conversation again,” said Briggs. “We still have a little bit more work to do.”

Class 1A State Team [email protected] Waveland Tennis Courts, Des Moines


Dubuque Wahlert 5, MSAE 3

Varsity Singles

  • 1. Schneider (DW) def. Stickels (MSAE) 7-6 (7-4), 6-3
  • 2. Runde (DW) def. Gelfand (MSAE) 6-4, 6-3
  • 3. Nite (MSAE) def. Bell (DW) 6-3, 6-4
  • 4. Long (DW) def. Sawhney (MSAE) 6-2, 6-2
  • 5. Morales (MSAE) def. McDonald (DW) 6-1, 6-1
  • 6. Takes (DW) def. Mullenneaux (MSAE) 6-2, 4-6, 6-4

Varsity Doubles

  • 2. Runde/Long (DW) def. Nite/Morales (MSAE) 6-3, 6-3
  • 3. Selleck/Sawhney (MSAE) def. McDonald/Takes (DW) 6-3, 6-0


MSAE 5, Red Oak 0

Varsity Singles

  • 2. Gelfand (MSAE) def. Nelson (RO) 6-2, 6-2
  • 3. Nite (MSAE) def. Sellers (RO) 6-4, 6-1
  • 4. Sawhney (MSAE) def. Streicher (RO) 6-0, 6-0
  • 5. Morales (MSAE) def. Johnson (RO) 6-0, 6-0
  • 6. Mullenneaux (MSAE) def. Berry (RO) 6-2, 6-1

Tags: , , ,


Website by Blue Sheep Studios