Girls Tennis: Warriors remain unbeaten with 7-0 win
Brainerd Warriors girls tennis team improved to 5-0 with its fourth straight 7-0 shutout Thursday, Sept. 10. Brainerd lost just 14 game points.
Kate Chaussee heard rumblings.
And it was her play during the summer that clinched her spot on the doubles side of the Brainerd Warriors lineup this year.
Last season, Chaussee handled the No. 2 singles duties. This year, however, Brainerd Warriors head coach Lisa Salo wanted to shuffle things up and she started by moving Chaussee to No. 1 doubles with veteran Lily Jones.
The move has worked as the two improved to 5-0 with a 6-1, 6-3 victory to help the Warriors defeat St. Cloud Apollo-Sauk Rapids 7-0 Thursday, Sept. 10, at Brainerd High School.
The Jones-Chaussee pairing wasn’t announced until two days before Brainerd’s first match.
“Coach had talked to me about playing doubles, but I didn’t really know,” Chaussee said. “She said singles or doubles, but it’s been great playing with Lily this year. It’s exciting. It’s new.”
Jones, who played No. 1 doubles with Ally Goeden all of last year was surprised that the duo didn’t stay together. Salo said it was the right move for the team and it helped that Chaussee and Jones seemed to fit.
“Me and Kate kind of clicked right away,” Jones said. “We did a scrimmage on a Friday and we had a little rough time, but we got that out of the way. We’ve had our ups and downs like everyone. We clicked pretty quickly, I feel like, considering we didn’t have much preseason play or anything.”
Salo loved Chaussee’s serve. And the senior’s willingness to improve her net game shined over the summer. Chaussee said the net game was the biggest adjustment from moving to singles to doubles and it was a focus in Thursday’s match.
“We’ve been practicing at coming to the net and taking more at the net,” Jones said. “That’s what our focus was. Just to play the net more and win the net.”
Said Chaussee: “We had a rough game in there, but I think we supported ourselves through it and we figured it out.”
Brainerd’s doubles lineup hasn’t dropped a match all season. The team of Goeden-Brynne Folden at No. 2 captured a 6-2, 6-2 victory Thursday.
Lila Collins and Ella Chaussee teamed up at No. 3 doubles to win 6-1, 6-2.
When creating the doubles lineup, Salo said she didn’t take last year into account, but rather the strengths of both Jones and Goeden.
“They both have incredible strengths and so we hoped by splitting them and giving them each a different partner they have a chance to enhance the skills of another teammate,” Salo said. “That’s the benefit that we saw in that move.
“Lily is a great mentor. She is a bulldog and she loves to go for that ball and she’s aggressive and that’s the beauty of Kate being able to be empowered by Lily. We see that at second doubles, too. Ally is able to empower Brynne to become stronger.”
It was much of the same on the single side as Kate Kurtzman dominated her No. 1 singles match with a 6-0, 6-0 win. Taylor Ruhl also finished perfect at No. 3 singles. Lindsy Busch dropped one game at No. 4 singles and Catherine Moraghan went 6-0, 6-2 for a No. 2 singles win.
“It’s been awesome,” Chaussee said about having a season. “We have a great team this year. It’s fun to even have practices.”
Said Jones: “It’s our senior year so we’re making the most out of it. Last year we played 32 matches with the regular seasons and postseason. To go down to 10, we might as well make the most out of it.”
Warriors 7, St. Cloud Apollo-Sauk Rapids
No. 1: Kate Kurtzman (Brd) def. Grace Rorsch 6-0, 6-0
No. 2: Catherine Moraghan (Brd) def. Belle Haddy 6-0. 6-2
No. 3: Taylor Ruhl (Brd) def. Ari Nemeth 6-0. 6-0
No. 4: Lindsy Busch (Brd) def. Liz Ernst 6-1, 6-0
No. 1: Lily Jones-Kate Chaussee (Brd) def. Gabby Jeskolka-Royelle Gajeski 6-1, 6-3
No. 2: Ally Goeden-Brynne Folden (Brd) def. Cailey Dawdson-Addie Bemboom 6-2, 6-2
No. 3: Lila Collins-Ella Chaussee (Brd) def. Alyssa Moyer-Bailee Bonebright 6-1, 6-2
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 218-855-5856 or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop.
Warriors 7, Apollo-SR 0
Key: Brainerd dropped just 14 games in the clean sweep
Conference: Brd 5-0, SCA 0-4
Overall: Brd 5-0, SCA 0-6
Next: Brainerd hosts St. Cloud Tech 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15.