Girls Tennis: Warriors top Tech for first time in 8 years
Lisa Salo admitted she had no idea what her doubles pairings were going to be at the start of the season.
The Brainerd Warriors head coach can stop worrying as she’s found a pair of winners at the top of her lineup.
Both the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles teams won in straight sets to help the Brainerd Warriors down the St. Cloud Tech Tigers 4-3 Tuesday, Sept. 3, at Brainerd High School.
It’s Brainerd’s first win over Tech since 2011 -- a span of 15 straight losses dating back to Oct. 4, 2011.
“The Tech match is always a little higher intensity and importance in our schedule,” Salo said. “This is one we circle and it’s always one that we circle because Tech is a perennial power. They have been. We were ready. This was great.”
While the No. 2 squad powered past its opponent, the No. 1 team of Lily Jones and Ally Goeden needed a five-game rally to finish off their foes 6-2, 6-4.
“I think we just kept up the confidence,” Jones said. “We didn’t get down on ourselves and just took it one point at a time.
“We had a few errors, but then we really cleaned it up and played the tennis we knew how to play and brought it back really well.”
That style starts at the net, which Jones said is the strength of this first-year pairing. Goeden agreed saying Jones owns the net which has this team at 7-3 on the season.
“We played some tournaments over the summer,” Goeden said. “Honestly, we both just have that spark plug personality. It’s just electric.”
While the two owned the net, Goeden’s serve was a key component to the pair’s comeback from being down 4-1 in the second set.
“Especially when I served to one of the girls’ backhands it worked particularly well because she didn’t really have one,” Goeden said. “Then, something clicked. I was really trying to go for it and just be confident in it.”
Addie Sanford and Chloe Pecarich are the hottest pair on the Warriors right now. Coming off a tournament victory at Delano and a convincing win over Rocori, Sanford-Pecarich improved to 8-1 on the season with their 6-2, 6-0 blowout at No. 2 doubles.
“We just get each other,” Pecarich said. “We understand how we move together. We just know what we’re going to do. She knows what I’m going to do and I know what she’s going to do.
“We communicate really well. In practice, we don’t always practice together, so come match time we’re good at telling each other what we need.”
Sanford-Pecarich were named the Central Lakes Conference players of the week last week and both agreed it didn’t take long for their games to mesh.
“Our personalities are kind of similar and it seems to work,” Sanford said. “She’s really good at the baseline and I’m better at the net so that works in our favor.”
Despite not being paired very often the No. 3 doubles team of Catherine Moraghan and Peyton McConkey pulled off a 6-2, 6-2 win.
“We had so much talent on this team and passionate tennis players so who was going to play with how and how was our lineup going shakeout,” Salo said. “We’re seeing a lot of good things happen with the players that we’ve paired up. They’re doing a nice job.”
The key victory, however, came down to freshman Ella Chaussee, who posted a 6-2, 7-6 (5) victory at No. 4 singles.
“We saw a lot of poise and belief in herself,” Salo said. “It was tight and … just this full effort. She’s pretty steady. We’re seeing that confidence grow.”
Chaussee improved to 6-4 on the year with the victory. McConkey is 6-2 and Moraghan improved to 9-1.
But despite the big win, Brainerd isn’t looking too far ahead on the schedule.
“I feel like we can go pretty far,” Sanford said. Pecarich cautioned that she doesn’t want the early success to get to their heads, but said, “I have a good feeling.”
Brainerd 4, St. Cloud Tech 3
No. 1: Ashley Tarrolly (Tech) def. Kate Kurtzman 6-0, 6-0
No. 2: Kate Inderieden (Tech) def. Kate Chaussee 6-0, 6-1
No. 3: Natalie Peterson (Tech) def. Savannah Smith 6-2, 6-0
No. 4: Ella Chaussee (Brd) def. Anna Miller 6-2, 7-6 (5)
No. 1: Lily Jones-Ally Goeden (Brd) def. Leah Donnelly-Ehrin Quinn 6-2, 6-4
No. 2: Addie Sanford-Chloe Pecarich (Brd) def. Maddie Dahn-Brooke Wilfing 6-2, 6-0
No. 3: Catherin Moraghan-Peyton McConkey (Brd) def. Ella Maroni-Kylie Starren 6-2, 6-2
Warriors 4, Tech 3
Key: Ella Chaussee pulled off a big second-set victory to help Brainerd beat Tech for first time since 2011
Conf: Brd 2-0, SCT 1-1
Overall: Brd 5-2, Tech 1-2
Next: Brainerd at Bemidji 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5.