OMAHA — Lincoln Southeast's Jack Bergmeyer may have lost his Class A No. 1 singles quarterfinal match Thursday at Koch Tennis Center — the fact he even competed helped keep the Knights in the team race.
Bergmeyer, the third seed, broke his jaw Monday after suffering a fall. He was not going to let an injury hold him back from competing.
"I've spent a lot of time playing tennis," Bergmeyer said. "Working this hard, and not playing at state just didn't feel like the right decision."
The Southeast junior received a first-round bye before falling to fourth-seeded Papillion-La Vista's Ethan Neil 7-6 (5), 6-3, an opponent he beat four straight times in the regular season.
"Ethan's a Missouri Valley player, he's a very talented freshman and honestly this is the best Ethan has ever played," Southeast coach Chris Salem said. "So our hats are off to him."
As for Bergmeyer, a few days off due to an injury may have taken him off his game.
"The physical things is something (Bergmeyer) has had to fight through," Salem said. "I think really he had to fight through is not hitting a ball in five, five-and-a-half days. That is always difficult, especially when you're talking about walking out onto a court with Ethan Neil."
Southwest leads with 36 points, Millard North is second with 32 and four teams — Creighton Prep, Southeast and Papillion-La Vista — are all in striking distance with 30.
Spencer Allgood also made the the quarterfinals in No. 2 singles for Southeast before losing to top seed Joseph Harris of Lincoln Southwest. That's when the Knights' No. 1 and No. 2 doubles teams came to the rescue, each reaching the semifinals.
The duo of William Everett and Graham Peterson (No. 1 doubles) knocked off Millard West's Paul Hinton and Brandon Vogel to put three Lincoln teams in Friday's No. 1 doubles semifinals. The Knights will face Lincoln High's Ethan Bruha and Alexander Harman after the Links knocked off No. 1 seed and defending state champions Brian O'Flanagan and Ryan McNamara of Creighton Prep.
Lincoln Southwest's Duncan Works and Nicholas O'Shea will face Millard North in the other semifinal match.
"It's really big," Salem said. "Programwise, we are really proud of what our doubles teams do. Doubles relatively for high school players is something new. To develop teams to get to this point in the state tournament is something we are proud of for sure."
Milo Ciotti and Grant Roscoe helped the Knights get their No. 2 team into the semifinals with a 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (3) win over Lincoln North Star's Sam Juracek and Noah Hudson.
The Southeast duo fought back time and time again, right before all looked lost when Roscoe tweaked his shoulder heading into the tiebreaker.
"We got down 0-1 in the tie break, and we knew we had to join forces a little bit," Roscoe said. "I had to modify my serve quite a bit and minimize my range of motion on overheads."
Ciotti did all he could to help his partner for a shot in the semifinals.
"We really wanted to take over that tie break," Ciotti added. "We got up 6-1 and felt pretty comfortable after that."