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Girls Tennis: Warriors second in Section 8-2A

FARGO--After an emotional pressure-packed 4-3 win over the South No. 2 seeded Willmar Cardinals in the Section 8-2A semifinals, the North No. 1 seeded Brainerd Warriors had about an hour and a half to prepare for the championship match against th...

FARGO-After an emotional pressure-packed 4-3 win over the South No. 2 seeded Willmar Cardinals in the Section 8-2A semifinals, the North No. 1 seeded Brainerd Warriors had about an hour and a half to prepare for the championship match against the South No. 1 seeded St. Cloud Tech Tigers.

Tech, unbeaten and ranked No. 1 in Class 2A much of the season, ended Brainerd's season at 19-5 with a 7-0 victory winning every match in straight sets Friday at Courts Plus. The Tigers had defeated the Warriors 6-1 Sept. 15 in the only regular season meeting of the two teams.

Against Willmar, Brainerd swept all three doubles matches and Kate Kurtzman's win at No. 3 singles provided the margin of victory for the Warriors who had been beaten by the Cardinals twice during the regular season. Willmar won the first meeting 4-3 Sept. 8 and then defeated Brainerd 5-2 Oct. 4 in the Warrior's final regular season match.

According to Brainerd head coach Lisa Salo, it came down to the last match on the court-No. 3 singles Kate Kurtzman who defeated Lydia Morrell 6-4, 6-4.

"Kate pulled it out in straight sets," said Salo. "She had lost to that same girl 6-1, 6-0 in the final match of the season. She was just methodical how she played against (Morrell) and handled the pressure well."

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Taya Person and Sydney Stock faced the toughest test in doubles play needing three sets to win 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 over Jordyn Swoboda and Ashley Prahl.

"They lost to those same two girls in straight sets (Oct. 4)," said Salo.

"Both matches during the season were very tight and we knew what we were up against. As a coach, we try to train the team to peak at tournament time and our girls did that. Everybody was so ready to compete and it was a very pressure-packed match.

"The Willmar win put us in the section finals and that is a dream for many kids," said Salo. "It was tough to come back after an emotional win against Willmar and compete against a team like Tech. Although the scores might not reflect it, we competed well against them. I'm so very proud of this team.

"We had such tremendous senior leadership in our entire program. The season's performance of our varsity seniors (Kennedy Rusk, Kiera Schweitzberger, Stock and alternate Emily Price) has been great.

"We're living the dream over here in Fargo," she ended.

Brainerd competes in the Section 8-2A individual singles and doubles tournament Saturday at Courts Plus in Fargo.

Semifinals: Brainerd 4, Willmar 3

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Singles

No. 1: Cayle Hooland (W) def. Payge Fitterer 6-3, 7-6 (7)

No. 2: Elise Bierbaum (W) def. Libby Kurtzman 6-4, 6-2

No. 3: Kate Kurtzman (Brd) def. Lydia Morrell 6-4, 6-4

No. 4: Chloe Hansen (W) def. Kiera Schweitzberger 6-3, 7-6 (4)

Doubles

No. 1: Kennedy Rusk-Britney Fletcher (Brd) def. Amanda Zuidema-Kireh Kessler-Gross 6-0, 6-1

No. 2: Taya Person-Sydney Stock (Brd) def. Jordyn Swoboda-Ashley Prahl 6-4, 2-6, 6-2

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No. 3: Jadye Hinrichs-Hannah Rud (Brd) def. McKenna Hogan-Olivia Corneil 6-2, 6-1

Overall: Brd 19-4.

Finals: St. Cloud Tech 7, Brainerd 0

Singles

No. 1: Taylor Tarrolly (SCT) def. Fitterer 6-0, 6-1

No. 2: Katelyn Tarrolly (SCT) def. L. Kurtzman 6-0, 6-0

No. 3: Ashley Tarrolly (SCT) def. K. Kurtzman 6-2, 6-1

No. 4: Kate Inderieden (SCT) def. Schweitzberger 6-3, 6-0

Doubles

No. 1: Rebecca Zweiner-Anne Bowe (SCT) def. Rusk-Fletcher 6-0, 6-1

No. 2: Kelsey Kline-Natalie Peterson (SCT) def. Person-Stock 6-1, 6-3

No. 3: Courtney Donnelly-Natalie Kuntz (SCT) def. Hinrichs-Rud 7-5, 6-2

Overall: Brainerd finishes 19-5. Brainerd in Section 8-2A Individual Tournament 9 a.m. Saturday at Courts Plus.

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