Prep Sports

Boys' state tennis: Cedar Rapids Washington's Ty Sherman, Rami Scheetz win 2A doubles title

Team downs Linn-Mar duo for 2A crown

CEDAR RAPIDS — Ty Sherman and Rami Scheetz glanced back at the court following Saturday’s Class 2A boys' state tennis doubles title match.

They looked back and saw Linn-Mar’s Ben Hediger and Luke VanDonslear with their heads down, sitting on a bench being consoled by coaches and teammates.

“We’ve been in their situation before,” Sherman said after the Warriors duo rolled to a 6-1, 6-1 win over the Linn-Mar pair on a steamy Saturday afternoon at the Veterans Memorial Tennis Center. “We just didn’t want to feel that way again. We’ve been there.”

The Washington juniors controlled both of their matches Saturday. They steamrolled Moise Habinez and Roy Jensen of West Des Moines Valley, 6-0, 6-0, in the semifinals and had to wait nearly four hours as Hediger and VanDonslear won a long three-set match over Bettendorf’s Yash Singh and Jozef Proubcin, 7-6 (10-8), 1-6, 6-4, in their semifinal.

Once they took the court for the final, the Washington duo wasted little time making amends for a 6-2, 6-2 loss in last year's final to Iowa City West’s Cole Schneider and Jack Wenzel.

“Last year we wanted to win and we came up short,” Scheetz said. “(This year) we knew exactly what we needed to do. This is something we have thought about since last year. We weren’t at all happy with the way we played in that match.

“Today, we just had to fight and we stayed focused,” he added. “Props to (Hediger and VanDonslear), they played great, but we really wanted this.”

Added Sherman: “We played every point as if it were the most important. That was the mentality we had to have.”

Sherman and Scheetz became the school’s first state champion in any sport since Sherman’s older sister, Hannah, helped the Warriors to the 2014 state team title. They are 50-2 in three years as doubles tandum.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved with them for three seasons now,” Washington Coach Rusty Graff said. “They have been so impressive as individuals and players. I had faith in them if they decided to really focus, they could really have a high level of success.

“Doubles is all about grabbing control of the net and creating angles,” Graff continued. “We worked really hard on that this season. That’s what has allowed them to be so successful and play doubles so well.”

In the singles final, Kennedy senior Rami Hemaiden lost a 6-2, 6-2 decision to Ames’ Timmy Ellis in a battle of the top two seeds. For Hemaiden, it was a tough end to a fantastic season. After failing to qualify for state as a junior, he performed well in the state meet. He outlasted Pleasant Valley’s Justin Sehlin, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, in a marathon semifinal that saw both players battle the conditions.

“I tried to fight through (the final), but Timmy was too good,” Hemaiden said. “I’m happy that my season went well. In the semifinal, we both pushed each other right up to the end and it took a lot out of both of us.”

Iowa City West’s Sam Shin had four match points in his semifinal match with Ellis before falling in three sets. He came back to take third place with a straight set win over Sehlin. West’s Sasha Chackalackal finished seventh, winning by injury default over Linn-Mar’s Zach Glanz.

In doubles, Linn-Mar’s Lucas Huffman and Jack Gertsen finished fifth while West’s Brad DiLeo and Eli Young ended up seventh.

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At Waterloo in the Class 1A singles final, Xavier senior Jon Lansing downed North Polk’s Evan Moon, 6-3, 6-2 after combining to win the state doubles title last year with Ben Esker. Union’s Rhett Peters finished fourth.

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