Area Female Athlete of the Week: Pequot’s Boller rolls in Mid-State Tournament
For Courtney Boller, tennis is more a mental game than anything else.
“I go into every match not thinking about whether I’m going to win,” the Pequot Lakes senior said. “Just that I can play my best. I play it point by point and see what happens. Even when I get down I just tell myself to move on. My coaches have kind of instilled it in me to take things point by point.”
Whatever she thinks while playing tennis is working as Boller owns a 22-0 record for Pequot Lakes mostly at No. 2 singles.
None of Boller’s matches have gone into a third set.
Her play was put on the big stage last week at the Mid-State Conference tournament Saturday, Sept. 14, where she placed first at No. 2 singles and went 2-0. Pequot Lakes as a team won six of the seven positions to win the team title.
“I think our team as a whole played pretty well,” Boller said. “I think, individually, I played pretty well. It was some of the best playing I’ve played all season I think.”
Patriots coach Monica Sergent said Boller’s all-around game is what sets her apart from her opponents.
“She never gets rattled,” Sergent said. “She always remains calm. After the second or third change over, if she is in a tough match she’ll stick with the strategy I give. She is very smart and coachable.”
Sergent also mentioned Boller’s quickness as a key of her game. Boller has the ability to get to balls other players might not be able too because of how well she moves.
“She never gives up when she’s out there,” Sergent said. “Last year, she was down 0-5 in a set and came back to win 7-5. So nothing ever really riles her up.”
Boller’s groundstrokes have improved from last year and she can place the ball better. Boller’s all-around game coupled with her solid mental game make her a tough opponent.
“I love making little strategies to win the match,” Boller said. “I like that I play singles because I feel like I am in control and don’t have to rely on somebody else.”
When Boller starts playing an opponent she can tell right away if they are more or less consistent than her. However, if someone does know how to get good winner shots on her she tries to hustle and neutralize the point.
Players on the Patriots’ tennis team are all friends. They hangout outside of tennis and their chemistry shows. They own a 22-2-2 record and are perfect in the Mid-State Conference.
“We all encourage each other,” Boller said. “I think that goes a long way.”
Boller has played on the varsity tennis team since ninth-grade. Now a senior, she's always had a passion for the game of tennis and been able to frustrate opponents with her foot speed.
Boller has improved on the leadership front for Sergent and will play No. 1 singles if asked.
“She always has a smile on her face,” Sergent said. “She’s always in a good mood and she’s very encouraging to everyone. She leads by example. She goes out there and takes care of her opponent and never gets overly dramatic.”
As the season winds down, Boller hopes the Patriots can make it to state as a team.
“That’s my ultimate goal,” Boller said.
Individually, she would like to make it back to the state tournament. Last year, Boller made it to state and dropped both her matches in the Class 1A singles tournament.
She wants to end on a good note for her senior season. Making state last year gives her the confidence needed to make it back because she knows she can play with the best players in the state.
“I’ve won some pretty good matches this year,” Boller said. “Like against Virginia, this year, I won my match and she was a really good player and it just gives me a lot of confidence.”
Other notable performances:
Volleyball: Jaime Johnson, Pine River-Backus, spiked 46 kills in the Crosby-Ironton tournament where the Tigers went 5-0 and won the championship.
Jacey Rydberg, Crosby-Ironton, collected 71 set assists and 24 digs in the Crosby-Ironton tournament where the Rangers went 3-1. Rydberg also collected 24 set assists and 16 digs in the Rangers loss to Pillager.
Caitlyn Guzman, Crosby-Ironton, collected 61 digs in the Crosby-Ironton tournament. Guzman also collected 29 digs in the Rangers loss to Pillager.
Kerstin Knopik, Little Falls, spiked 40 kills in the Crosby-Ironton tournament where the Flyers went 2-2. Knopik also had 23 kills in the Flyers loss to St. Cloud Cathedral.
Tess Jones, Verndale, finished with 19 kills, 15 set assists and 32 digs in the Pirates loss to Pillager.
Tabetha Allen, Staples-Motley, spiked 20 kills in the Cardinals win against Sebeka. She added 10 kills in the Cardinals win against Crosby-Ironton.
Tennis: Megan Muller, Pequot Lakes, went 2-0 in the Mid-State conference tournament and won the championship at No. 1 singles.
Rose Han, Staples-Motley, went 3-0 in the Mid-State conference tournament and won the championship at No. 3 singles.
Carly Chaney, Pequot Lakes, went 2-0 in the Mid-State conference tournament and won the championship at No. 4 singles.
Alexa Fyle and Ellis Saxerud, Pequot Lakes, went 2-0 in the Mid-State conference tournament and won the championship at No. 1 doubles.
Madeline Sherman and Afton Crocker, Pequot Lakes, went 2-0 in the Mid-State conference tournament and won the championship at No. 2 doubles.
Morgan Luck and Quinn Trottier, Pequot Lakes, went 3-0 in the Mid-State conference tournament and won the championship at No. 3 doubles.
School: Pequot Lakes
Position: No. 2 singles
Highlights: Won the Mid-State conference tournament at No. 2 singles going 2-0 and moving her season record to 22-0.