Female Area Athlete of Week: Han doesn’t drop a set in first week

Rose Han.

Rose Han’s favorite bagel is an everything bagel.

It makes sense then, that the Staples-Motley No. 2 singles player started her senior season with two bagels — winning her match against Wadena-Deer Creek 6-0, 6-0 and against Detroit Lakes 6-0, 6-0.

The Cardinals went on to win both of those matches.

Han said a big improvement she made during the offseason was with her serving.

“When I got my foot placement right and I was having more consistent ball tosses I was then able to attack the ball,” Han said. “I was able to get some aces during matches.”


Han’s favorite part about the game of tennis is when she’s in the zone like she was against Wadena-Deer Creek and Detroit Lakes.

“It’s the satisfaction of hitting the correct shots and knowing how hard I’ve worked to get there,” Han said.

First year head coach Nathan Thelen said Han is a great captain and leader for the Cardinal squad.

“Her personality has just changed a lot,” Thelen said. “She just goes out there and plays. She doesn’t care about any other circumstances that are around her. She is just doing a really good job of pumping her teammates up and pumping herself up.

“She’s stepped up as a leader. She really has a unique personality that she brings to the team that is more light hearted, which I think everybody appreciates because we are serious and competitive and want to win, but I think she just makes it light hearted.”

Han noticed her improvements from year-to-year.

“I don’t actually realize that I’ve improved until I’m out there,” Han said. “I always feel like I’m playing my best, but then when I think about where I was last year I think ‘wow I really have improved.’ It doesn’t feel like it. It just feels like I’m playing.”

Confidence is a big factor in Han's success. She tries to keep a positive attitude.


“When I go out I always try to be happy when I start,” Han said. “If I get down I just look around and see everyone else trying their best, so then I have to keep pushing.”

Her confidence comes from all the practicing she’s done to get herself in position to beat her opponents.

“I just love to play to the point that if I lose I’m still doing something that I love,” Han said. “It doesn’t matter if I’m winning or losing just that I am learning something while I play.”

Thelen has taken a laid-back approach with the team and just wants them to focus on playing tennis. He thinks the team has had a positive attitude and includes Han in that.

“They all want to be competitive and all want to win,” Thelen said. “However, we want them to grow as people and be good people when they are finished playing tennis.

As a leader, Han says since she has been on young teams since she was a freshman being a captain for her senior year hasn’t been challenging.

“Since I was a freshman or sophomore I’ve always been one of the older girls on the team, which is a really odd thing,” Han said. “We are all friends and now that we are seniors. I know everybody. I know how everyone plays. I know what I can do to help other people and I just love my team.”

Han hopes to win a majority of her matches her senior year. She also hopes to play tennis in college whether it’s for a club team or the school team.


“I’m still undecided, but I’m to play some kind of college tennis,” Han said. “I just haven’t decided where yet.”

She also has high hopes for the team.

“I think we are going to do well at sections — if we have sections,” Han said. “I’m just hoping as a team we can make it to state.”

Other notable performances:
Cross-Country: Calia Chaney, Pequot Lakes, won the Friday Night Lights meet in 19:37.9.
Courtney Loeffler, Little Falls, won the Little Falls meet in 22:40.
Kira Sweeney, Wadena-Deer Creek, won the UNC Triangular in 20:31.14.
Kyanna Burton, Staples-Motley, won the Central Minnesota River Run in 20:43.3.
Tennis: Val Gall, Pierz, won 6-1, 6-1 against Little Falls and 6-0, 6-0 against Little Falls in No. 1 singles.
Megan Muller, Pequot Lakes, won 6-0, 6-0 against Crosby-Ironton in No. 1 singles.
The doubles team Marybeth Tautges-Morgan Pohlkamp, Pierz, won 6-0, 6-0 against Little Falls in No. 2 doubles.
Swimming: Lindy Welinski, Little Falls, won the 200-yard free in 2:17.26 and the 100 butterfly in 1:08.83 against Milaca.
Ella Rausch, Little Falls, won the 50- and 100-yard frees in 26:56 and 59.26 against Milaca.
Soccer: Mikayla Houdek, Little Falls, scored a goal in the Flyers 1-1 tie to St. Cloud Cathedral.

CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or Follow on Twitter at

Rose Han

Year: Senior

School: Staples-Motley

Sport: Tennis


Position: No. 2 Singles

Highlights: won 6-0, 6-0 against Wadena-Deer Creek and 6-0, 6-0 against Detroit Lakes in No. 2 singles.

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