Tennis: Break doesn’t halt Warriors’ advancement in sections

Brainerd's Catherine Moraghan competes against Moorhead Thursday, Oct. 8, at Brainerd High School. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

A two-week break right before sections might be the new norm for Brainerd Warriors tennis.

Despite not practicing or playing any competitions for two weeks, the top-seeded Warriors dispatched the fourth-seeded Moorhead Spuds 7-0 in the Section 8-2A quarterfinals Thursday, Oct. 8, at Brainerd High School.

All four doubles teams won in straight sets including Lindsy Busch’s quick 6-0, 6-0 victory at No. 4 singles.

Kate Kurtzman and Taylor Ruhl each dropped just two games and Catherine Moraghan won her No. 2 singles match 6-2, 6-2.

“They competed really well,” Warrior head coach Lisa Salo said. “It was just solid across the board. Every one of them. Everyone was solid. That just goes to all the work that they’ve put in and the mindset that they have. It’s all about the process and believing in themselves.”


It took awhile for the No. 1 doubles team of Lily Jones and Kate Chaussee to find that belief, but once they did it was lights out for their opponents Azylen Lunak and Katryna Hansen. The latter Spud normally plays No. 1 singles for Moorhead, but a back injury forced her into the doubles lineup.

The Brainerd duo lost the first set 4-6 after being up 3-0. They didn’t let that happen again in the second set as they clamped down for a 6-0 win.

“We just wanted to go,” Jones said.

Chaussee was a bit more elaborate with her answer.

“We took the analogy of a snowball running down a hill,” Chaussee said. “We got to the 3-0 and sometimes when we get to the 3-0 we drop the next couple of games. So we decided we’ll just keep the snowball rolling downhill. That was our second set.”

Jones said Salo was keeping a tally of how many points each girl won and Jones said she really wanted to have the most tallies.


The strategy worked into the third set where Brainerd again jumped out to a lead before dropping a few games. The pair sprinkled in enough wins to post a 6-3 victory and win the match.

Brainerd’s other two doubles teams didn’t take long to get back in sync. Ally Goeden-Brynne Folden won 6-3, 6-2 and Lila Collins-Ella Chaussee claimed a 6-1, 6-2 victory.

“We had a focused practice Wednesday,” Chaussee said. “The coaches helped with all of that. They had stuff planned for us and just getting some match play since we had none of that for the two weeks off. But it’s not like we stopped hitting either.”

Brainerd advances to the section semifinals where they’ll face No. 2 seeded Bemidji, who beat No. 3 Alexandria 5-2 in the other semifinal. It was the Lumberjacks who Brainerd last played before the two-week break.

“I didn’t really know if this day would come where we would be back,” Jones said. “It’s really nice. I honestly thought Bemidji was our last high school match.”

Chaussee, who was celebrating her birthday, said Thursday’s match was the one thing she was looking forward to.

“It was just so different,” Salo said about not seeing her team for two weeks. “We had trust in them. They were looking for opportunities to hit. It’s just that trust in them and knowing what we built up to before our halt that we had. They knew what they needed to do. (Wednesday) being back all together, it was just so awesome.

“We’re in section play and we’re grateful to be in section play. That’s the bottom line right there. We told the girls, ‘We get another opportunity. We’re back in it.’”


Brainerd 7, Moorhead 0
No. 1: Kate Kurtzman (Brd) def. Nicole Hoogland 6-1, 6-1
No. 2: Catherine Moraghan (Brd) def. Josie Palmer 6-2, 6-2
No. 3: Taylor Ruhl (Brd) def. Elizabeth Glatt 6-2, 6-0
No. 4: Lindsy Busch (Brd) def. Brooke Hoogland 6-0, 6-0

No. 1: Lily Jones-Kate Chaussee (Brd) def. Azylen Lunak-Katryna Hansen 4-6, 6-0, 6-3
No. 2: Ally Goeden-Brynne Folden (Brd) def. Bailey Overbo-Sophie Swenson 6-3, 6-2
No. 3: Lila Collins-Ella Chaussee (Brd) def. Anna Kiser-Kylie Torkelson 6-1, 6-2

JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 218-855-5856 or Follow on Twitter at

Warriors 7, Moorhead 0


Key: Brainerd swept the singles in straight sets.

Overall: Brd 9-0.

Next: Brainerd vs. in Section 8-2A semifinals 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13.

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