Girls Tennis: Cardinals players advance to Day 2 at state

Two Staples-Motley Cardinals competed in the Class 1A State Individual Tournament Thursday, Oct. 27.

A tennis player hits a shot
Staples-Motley's Lauren Rutten returns a shot Thursday, Oct. 28, 2022, during the Class 1A State Singles Tournament at Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis.
Bill Johnson / Picture Day Pro!
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MINNEAPOLIS — It was straight-set smooth sailing for Staples-Motley’s Lauren Rutten.

The Cardinal opened the Class 1A State Singles Tournament Thursday, Oct. 27, with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Olivia Moore of Cotter to advance to the championship quarterfinals.

There she posted a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Osakis’ Leah Maddock, who was ranked No. 5 in the Class 1A polls, to set up a semifinal showdown against top-ranked Isabelle Einess of Breck on Friday.

Rutten, the No. 6 ranked player in Class 1A, improved to 31-1 on the season. Einess is 23-0 and won both her matches Thursday by matching 6-0, 6-0 scores. In fact, in the month of October, Einess has not dropped a game.

In the other semifinal, the No. 2 ranked Ryann Witter or Rochester Lourdes will face Pine City’s Ella Sell who is ranked No. 4.


“It was kind of the same thing all year for her,” S-M head coach Justin Edin said. “She just stayed focused on the moment and just took it one point at a time. She handled the environment great.”

Rutten’s S-M teammate Ronnie Noska suffered an opening round 6-0, 6-1 defeat to Witter. The loss dropped her into the consolation bracket where the eighth-grader rebounded with a 6-3, 2-6, 10-7 victory over Olivia Dutton of Blue Earth.

“It was really fun,” Edin said. “She got up a set and then you start feeling those nerves that you can do this. She got loosened back up and got it done in that super tiebreaker there in the end. It was super fun for her.

“She handled the first match really well. We went in and it was just an opportunity to get to play someone really great. She ended up getting a game off of her and that was her goal. It was really fun to watch. It was kind of like watching a future Ronnie play Ronnie.”

A tennis player listens to her coach during a break
Staples-Motley assistant coach Katie Noska talks with her daughter, Ronnie Noska, during a break in the Class 1A State Singles Tournament Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022, at the Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis.
Bill Johnson / Picture Day Pro!

Noska, who improved to 29-5 on the season, will face Mounds Park Academy’s Freya Rahm in the consolation semifinals on Friday.

“The hope tomorrow is to keep having fun,” Edin said. “I’d love to see Ronnie make it to the consolation finals and compete there. For Lauren, to be in the moment and play her game and see what happens. Either have an opportunity to win it all or to play for third. Both are big jumps from last year.”


Opening round: Lauren Rutten (Staples-Motley) def. Olivia Moore (Cotter) 6-0, 6-1; Ryann Witter (Rochester Lourdes) def. Ronnie Noska (Staples-Motley) 6-0, 6-1

Championship Quarterfinals: Rutten def. Leah Maddock (Osakis) 6-1, 6-4

Consolation Quarterfinals: Noska def. Olivia Dutton (Blue Earth) 6-2, 2-6, 10-7

Friday’s matchups

Championship semifinals: Rutten vs. Isabelle Einess (Breck)

Consolation semifinals: Noska vs. Freya Rahm (Mounds Park Academy)

Next: Class 1A State Individual tournament at Reed Sweatt Family Tennis Center, Minneapolis, Friday, Oct. 28.

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