By Bruce Karnick [email protected] The Raiders girl’s tennis team earned the second seed heading into the Section 3AA tournament. Section 3AA contains 16 teams: Cretin-Derham Hall, Eagan, East …
By Bruce Karnick
The Raiders girl’s tennis team earned the second seed heading into the Section 3AA tournament. Section 3AA contains 16 teams: Cretin-Derham Hall, Eagan, East Ridge, Hastings, Two Rivers, Park, Rosemount, Simley, South St. Paul, St. Paul Central, St. Paul Como Park, St. Paul Harding, St. Paul Highland Park, Tartan, Visitation and Woodbury. Of those 16, at least half of them are programs that could earn the one seed any given year.
Park girls tennis head coach Tony Townsend spoke on the closeness of the section schools, “we’ve been saying, that one thing about our section is, that we have so many teams that are just so close and so we’ve been talking about that you know, even though we’re [Park] a seven seed and they’re [Hastings] the two, there’s not a lot of difference between the one seed and the eight seed, it’s just everybody and sometimes it comes down to matchups and those close points.”
To be the second seed is still a big deal, it meant that Hastings won those close points more often than not, had those matchups that translated to winning key matches. The girls were positioned to do well this season. As Head Coach Marissa Welch put it at the beginning of the season, this group of girls is special. Talented on the courts, sure they are talented tennis players, but they are special humans. Great kids with the right view of things.
Senior Chloe Konrady talked about handling the pressure, “How we handle it as a team is to take some deep breaths encourage each other and try to try to play our best so put away the nerves and play as you would any other match.”
Konrady sentiments were evident after the loss to Park on Thursday. They were emotional about the loss knowing that their team season was over, but that sadness quickly turned back to love. They simply love being around each other, love the friendships that were built through tennis, and love each other. As difficult as it is to lose as a team, they did it, as a team, and they lift each other up as a team. They earned second as a team. The potential to go much further than they did as a team was there, but it was not their day on the courts. They fought hard, they played very well, but Park played just a tiny bit better and won the close points. There are times in sports where you can see a team lose, this was not one of them, Hastings did not lose, Park won in a hard fought, close set of matches that could have gone either way, and for that, both teams should be celebrated.
The team season has come to an end, Charlotte Kranz was disappointed the team season was over, but being at home made the lose a little easier. “It was very nice to have my last match at home, just to have the new courts and the team together.”
What is next for the Raiders? Getting the top two singles and top two doubles teams ready for individual tournament play. The team game may be over, but these girls will rally around the six that are selected to go to the individual portion of the tournament, and they will help get them ready. Good luck ladies!
Park – 5, Hastings – 2, Singles: No. 1 – Kathryne Townsend, Park def. Claire Keller, Hastings, 6-1 , 6-4 , -; No. 2 – Avrie Morris, Park def. Reese Keller, Hastings, 6-3 , 6-3 , -; No. 3 – Dana Petrie, Park def. Autumn Winkler, Hastings, 6-1 , 6-3 , -; No. 4 – Brooklyn Keller, Hastings def. Grace Townsend, Park, 6-0 , 6-0 , -; Doubles: No. 1 – Hannah Holmgren, Abby Fjelsta, Park def. Charlotte Kranz, Molly Moran, Hastings, 7-5 , 6-2 , -; No. 2 – Morgan Leick, Luise Meier, Park def. Chloe Konrady, Ellie Haas, Hastings, 6-4 , 6-3 , -; No. 3 – Ruby Rotty, Mikayla Schuster, Hastings def. Jenna Mahnke, Finley Leick, Park, 6-2 , 6-4 , -;