SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Less than a week after the Summit League Basketball Championships were moved to the Sanford Pentagon, the venue’s neighbor to the north, Huether Family Match Pointe, is set to host a major tournament of its own.
The Boys 16-Under USTA National Level 2 tennis tournament is coming to Sioux Falls.
“There’s only four of these per year throughout the calendar year, and this is the first time South Dakota has ever been awarded one of these tournaments. This makes it the biggest tournament the state’s ever hosted,” Match Pointe Executive Director Mark Vellek said.
It will be among the first national junior tournaments since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Match Pointe has previously hosted Level 3 events, but Executive Director Mark Vellek says “2” is literally a whole new level of competition.
“When we do a USTA National Level 3 the top seeds will be in the 30s or 40s in the country, which is very good. Right now, I think the highest ranked boy we have signed up for the national level 2 is 16 in the country,” Vellek said.
Vellek hopes to have at least one local standout among the 32 players in Lincoln freshman Rocky McKenzie.
“He would be the highest ranked local boy that would stand the best chance of getting in, but then there’s five or six other boys that are in line hoping to get in, so we’ll see what happens,” Vellek said.
“Attendance will be limited to one guest per player, but matches will be live streamed, which played a big role in Match Pointe landing this national event,” KELOLAND’s Travis Fossing said.
“The camera system played a huge part in terms of being able to allow people to watch, but limit spectators in the facility at the same time,” Vellek said.
And it’s just one of the reasons Match Pointe is scheduled to host 13 tournaments in 2021.
“The very next weekend we’ve got a level four tournament and then in March we have a USTA national level 3 for girls. In April, we’ll be hosting the NSIC Championship for the women, so we’ve got a really busy stretch of tournaments coming up, so it’ll be fun,” Vellek said.
The three-day tournament begins February 6th.