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Tennis: Match play week at BHS gives tennis players a chance to compete

Tennis players migrate to Brainerd High School Thursday, July 29, despite air quality alert

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Claire Erdal of Brainerd competes Thursday, July 29, 2021, during match play week at Brainerd High School. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

Tennis players from six schools were at the Brainerd tennis courts Thursday, July 29, for the last day of match play week in July at Brainerd High School.

Brainerd, Pequot Lakes, Pierz, Wadena-Deer Creek, Roseau and Alexandria all had girls playing tennis Thursday.

Tennis players took to the courts at Brainerd High School July 26-29 from around 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Thursday, everyone was playing doubles and Claire Erdal — an incoming sophomore at Brainerd — says that match play week is a good chance to improve as a tennis player. It’s the second match play week of the summer Brainerd has hosted which is just a chance for tennis players to get competition tennis in before the season starts Monday, Aug. 16.

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“It helps me be consistent and helps with sportsmanship and working as a team in doubles,” she said. “Not everyone has the time to be able to play doubles this much. We are playing three to four matches a day and that gives you a lot of practice.”

Erdal hopes to make varsity for Brainerd this fall. She played JV last year as a freshman. She thinks she’s won more than she’s lost during match play week.

“That makes me feel good,” Erdal said. “I hope I can make varsity this year, so we will see how that goes. Also I just want to make a lot more friends with the varsity players and just keep improving my game.”

New Pierz girls tennis coach and former Brainerd assistant Briana Rademacher was running things at Brainerd High School Thursday. Rademacher would create double teams and matches every hour so girls could play different players and have new teammates.

“The biggest thing is that it gives them an opportunity for that competition,” Rademacher said. “It’s one thing to go out and drill, but it’s another thing to have the competition because when the season starts we play games pretty quickly with matches.”

Some tennis players did not show up Thursday due to the air quality alert in effect until 3 p.m. Friday, July 30. Erdal said it didn’t bother her while playing. Rademacher made sure that if any player wasn’t feeling well, they’d stop.

“I told them even if it’s in the middle of a set, if they need a break just let me know,” Rademacher said. “Right now, it seems to be going fine and it’s been OK.”

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CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or conrad.engstrom@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/the_rad34.

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