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Area Female Athlete: S-M's Edin shines at state

Izabella Edin Year: Sophomore School: Verndale Sport: Tennis Position: No. 1 singles Highlights: Finished third in Class 1A state singles tournament Izabella Edin didn't win the tournament, but she certainly made a name for herself. Edin, a sopho...

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Izabella Edin

Year: Sophomore

School: Verndale

Sport: Tennis

Position: No. 1 singles

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Highlights: Finished third in Class 1A state singles tournament

Izabella Edin didn't win the tournament, but she certainly made a name for herself.

Edin, a sophomore from Verndale playing for the Staples-Motley Cardinals girls tennis team, was the only competitor at the Class 1A state tournament to take a set off of top-ranked and eventual state champion Danielle Gannon of Holy Family Catholic.

That feat came during the state singles semifinals Oct. 24 at Reed-Sweat Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis. Gannon, the daughter of former Minnesota Vikings and Oakland Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon, won the first set 6-4. Then it was Edin's turn to drop the only set loss on Gannon with a 6-4 win of her own.

"This match wasn't as bad as the first time I played her," said Edin. "It was fun. I had a lot of fun playing her. She's a tough player. It was a good match. I felt like I played a lot better than during the team match. I fought really hard. I tried to mix it up a little bit more, but I kept with my original game plan that I had in my second set, which was being aggressive and playing my game and being calm and relaxed."

Gannon regrouped to knock Edin into the third-place match with a 6-1 third-set win. In the third-place match, Edin defeated Gannon's teammate Grace Sperr 6-3, 6-3 to claim the honor as the top underclassman finisher in the tournament.

"It was nice to see the season end with a win," said Edin. "It was hard to go into that next match for third place after you tried shooting for the state championship. I had to play my match and just do what I had to do to win. I'm proud of the being able to come back and win."

Despite being her first state tournament, Edin cruised through the first two rounds of the individual tournament by knocking Minnehaha Academy's Elsa Ubel into the consolation bracket with a 6-0, 6-0 victory. Edin then beat Pine City's Natalie Cahill 2-6, 6-2, 7-5.

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Edin may have been helped by playing No. 1 singles for the Cardinals during the state team tournament two days before the individual tournament. That's where Edin first met Gannon as Holy Family Catholic beat S-M 6-1 in the state quarterfinals. In that match, Gannon topped Edin 6-0, 6-4.

She rebounded with 6-0, 6-1 win over Grace Gorman of Rochester Lourdes during S-M's 5-2 consolation semifinal loss.

"It's always hard to play in that first match because you don't know what's going to happen," said Edin. "Playing two team matches got the nerves out and helped me relax the second time I had to play Danielle. It also helped with my first couple of matches. Playing in the team tournament gave me confidence."

Not only was it Edin's first state tournament it was also her first year on varsity. She played mostly in United States Tennis Association tournaments in the Twin Cities before joining the Cardinals this season.

"I was told prior to the season that she was really good, but I had never seen her play before," said Cardinals head coach Kayla Huether. "Her cousin Nikki (Edin) is on the team and she's the one who talked Izabella into going out for the team. I was very happy that she did because she is such a strong player. She plays with a lot of finesse and is very smart out on the court. She knows what to do and has great touch with her placement of the ball."

Edin entered the state tournament with a 27-2 record. She finished 15-1 in the Mid-State Conference and won the No. 1 singles title. She finished the year with a 31-4 record.

"This year really helped with my mental toughness," Edin said. "It's different when you're playing for other girls. They helped with my confidence. Being on a team helps you realize you're not alone. I wasn't just playing for myself, but I was playing for a whole bunch of girls. I learned a lot. I learned how to be positive and be confident. Hopefully I can keep the ball rolling after state."

Other notable performances:

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Cross country: Crosby-Ironton Rangers team won the Section 7-1A team title and qualified for state.

Volleyball: Jennifer Craig, Wadena-Deer Creek, finished with 12 kills, 12 digs and 12 blocks against Pequot Lakes and 10 kills, 11 digs and five blocks against Frazee.

Shania Glenz, Verndale, finished with 18 digs, 16 kills and four ace serves against Eagle Valley.

Jordyn Glenz, Verndale, finished with 18 kills, 12 digs and three set assists against Eagle Valley.

Kendra Pohlman, Little Falls, finished with 15 set assists, 14 kills, eight digs and four ace serves against Holdingford.

JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 855-5856 or jeremy.millsop@brainerddispatch.com . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop .

Related Topics: STAPLES-MOTLEY CARDINALS
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