Ron Netten took a glance at the beautiful wooden plaque, with gold engraved names for the team that wins the Iowa Conference Boys Tennis Tournament each year. Storm Lake's name was on there in the year the tourney was born, 1991, and never since.
And then he handed the thing over to Spencer.
The Tigers carried the day by a single match Saturday in Storm Lake, where the Tornadoes hosted the tournament for the first time in almost a decade.
Spencer finished with 16 team points, Storm Lake with 15. The two teams battled it out all day as the class of the field in cold, breezy conditions at the high school and university courts.
LeMars and Cherokee tied for third with nine each, followed by Spirit Lake Okoboji with seven and Estherville Lincoln Central with four.
With a tournament format that featured four flights and round robin play, individuals and teams played a grueling five matches each as play began at 9 a.m. and ran past mid-afternoon.
Storm Lake's number one singles player Jesse Munger won four matches out of five, earning All-Conference honors.
Taylor Anderson and Jeremy Boese went 4-1 in doubles play to earn All-Conference number one doubles status.
Erick Stephas placed third, at 3-2, in number two singles, and was honorable mention All-Conference.
The Tornado number two doubles team of Will Hansen and Cory Nelsen went 4-1, but placed second.
For Storm Lake, it was a day of play that would normally be good enough to win, but the team's few losses were concentrated against the solid Spencer team.
"The meet went really well, and we thought we had a chance to finally get our name back on that traveling plaque again," Netten said. "We had our opportunity, but head-to-head against Spencer we went 1-3, and if we could have turned just one match right there, it would have probably made all the difference."
Still, Netten liked his player's effort, and noted that out of all the conference teams, Storm Lake claimed three of the total eight All-Conference spots.
While the weather made play difficult for everyone, Netten said there was no hestitation to continue with the meet as planned.
"With spring being what it has been, we had to go. If you get a chance to play tennis this year, you take it."
* The Storm Lake boys improved their meet record to 4-1 Thursday night with a 9-0 drubbing of Estherville- Lincoln Central. The JV won 8-0.