Geneseo’s Ben Rowley and Trace Johnson punched their tickets to the IHSA state tennis tournament.

Geneseo’s Ben Rowley and Trace Johnson punched their tickets to the IHSA state tennis tournament.

The Maple Leafs’ Rowley and Johnson reached the doubles semifinal round at the Rock Island Sectional on May 20.

The duo finished fourth in the bracket, and Geneseo finished third in the team competition among the eight-team field.

The Leafs boys’ tennis team has had state qualifier each season for the past seven years.

Rowley and Johnson defeated the doubles team from Dixon 7-6 (3), 6-1 to earn their first state berth.

In the semifinal match, Rowley and Johnson were defeated by the eventual sectional champions from Moline, Michael Allee and Sam Henderson, 6-4, 7-5.

In the third-place match, Alleman’s Michael Naert and Ben Woeber held off Rowley and Johnson 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.

The duo reached state by never letting themselves settle.

After they finished second place at conference, the duo wanted to assure themselves a spot at state.

“They looked at me and said, “Coach we have to work this week,” Geneseo coach Kevin Reed said. “That’s their level of dedication to the game and the drive to win.”

Geneseo’s No. 2 doubles team of AJ Miller and Will Chaney nearly made a trip to state.

The Leafs won their first-round match 6-3, 6-3 against Rock Island, but lost a heart breaker to Moline’s Brad Wheeler and Lucas Petre 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.

In singles, Avery Dunker won his opening round match 6-1, 6-2 against Dixon’s Michael Gale.

Dunker was eliminated in the second round (6-2, 6-1) by Alleman’s Joey Miller who finished third overall.

Geneseo’s Ethan Pullman won his opening round match 6-1, 7-6 (6) over Dixon’s Sam Bratt.

Pullman was eliminated in the second round by Rock Island’s Josh Teggatz 6-1, 6-0.

Geneseo’s Rowley and Johnson will open the state tournament against Ryan Froidcouer and Levi Triplo from Triad. Both teams are unranked in the doubles bracket.