It a set of performances rarely seen before, the Waukee High School boys doubles pair of Will Ecklund and Noah Burmeister captured a Class 2A state doubles championship Saturday, May 25.
The two have been a pair long in the making and fell upon a no brainer for head coach Eric Wetzel before postseason play began.
“Both Will and Noah are dynamic singles players and for the last few seasons Noah has been shining at state singles but it just seemed like now would be a great time to combine their efforts,” began Wetzel. “Most dominant singles players have trouble working together as a pair but the moment I witnessed how Will and Noah performed basically as one cohesive unit, I thought why not put them together. We talked it over with both of them and they agreed almost instantly and it’s really taken off from there.”
Taken off they sure have as the pair barely suffered a single match point in their state qualifying round while showcasing their dominance as well against state tournament quality opponents. The pair began their run Friday, May 24 with a match-up against Bettendorf pair Luebke and Swearingen and just as they have done three times during the regular season, they were unblemished in a two-set sweep. Set one began quickly with a 4-0 lead that led to the 6-0 set one win. Set two had some really close calls, once the Waukee pair led 3-0 and 5-0, but held strong defensively and ended up taking set two as well 6-0.
The top-seeded pair then moved onto the semi-final round where they faced off against the Pleasant Valley duo of Maria and Nadeem. Following a close call early and staving off a late set point, Ecklund and Burmeister took the first set 6-1. The second set began in a back-and-forth fashion but a late push by the Warrior pair gave the duo a chance to move on winning set two 6-3. The duo coming into state hadn’t suffered a single set loss, and coming out of the match-up with fourth-seeded Ames, that streak continued. Ecklund and Burmeister allowed just four set points all match long and came out with a set one win 6-1 followed by a 6-3 set two win which sent them off to the championship round.
The number one doubles seed in all of Class 2A then took to the championship against the Iowa City West pair of Chackalackal and Young. It was their toughest challenge yet, with set one needing a strong end to finish 6-2 while set three was a back-and-forth match but in the end, the Warrior duo won 6-3. The win officially gave Ecklund and Burmeister a doubles championship and they did so by allowing just 13 set points all tournament long, one of the fewest marks set by a Class 2A champion.
“It’s good to see Noah and Will earn so much success together and the way they’ve been able to do it is just amazing,” said coach Wetzel before state. “They feed off each other well which can be rare for two individuals who are so strong on their own.”
The Waukee duo will now join up with the rest of the Warriors squad today as they take on team state in Ankeny beginning at 8:30 a.m. Weather pending the team state tournament may be moved indoors, which will take place at Aspen, but if Mother Nature plays nice, the action will take place at the Prairie Ridge Tennis Center.