Kate Chaussee gave it everything she had and battled like a pro.
The Brainerd Warrior sophomore matched St. Cloud Tech's Natalie Peterson stroke for stroke and serve for serve in a dramatic 3-set match in which Peterson finally prevailed to give the Tigers a 4-3 Central Lakes Conference victory at Brainerd High School Tuesday, Sept. 18.
With Brainerd having won all three doubles matches and Tech having won the first three singles matches-all in straight sets-it was up to Chaussee and Peterson to decide the meet at No. 4 singles. Peterson, a junior, won the first set 6-0 before Chaussee rebounded for a 7-5 victory. Peterson then eked out a 6-4 win to end the dual meet.
Chaussee didn't realize she was playing the decisive match so she wasn't nervous nor did she feel any pressure.
"I didn't really know it was until I got off (the court)," she said. "I tried my hardest."
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Tech 4, Warriors 3
- The key: The Tigers won all four singles matches
- Conference: Brd 4-1, SC 5-0
- Overall: Brd 16-1, SC 8-4
- Next: Brainerd at Rocori 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20.
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Players from both teams, parents and fans were focused on the Chaussee-Peterson match.
"The team was really supportive," Chaussee said, "so that was really nice to be around and have that support of the team. It was really crazy."
It was only Chaussee's fourth loss in 18 matches this season.
"There's no doubt her game's going to grow because of this match," Warriors coach Lisa Salo said. "She was so poised."
It was Tech's 14th consecutive victory over the Warriors, a streak that dates back to 2012. In the 2011 season, Brainerd beat the Tigers three times and advanced to the Class 2A state tournament for the third straight year.
"We talked about that this is level ground," Salo said. "That we're not going to put anybody up or be intimidated by anybody. The courts are level. It's level ground, let's go out there and battle, take advantage of the opportunity that you have with this quality-coached team.
"We're just going to get back to work (Wednesday). Seriously we are. We'll look at what we need to work on, the focus areas on everybody. Our doubles played really solid today and we knew we needed that. They stepped up and did their job. Then our singles players were battling it out against experienced singles players. Then you've got a match and it proved to be because you have a third set, the match is riding on the line.
"We have nothing to hang our heads about."
The loss was Brainerd's first of the season after 16 straight victories. The teams entered the dual tied with 4-0 CLC marks and with seven points apiece in the CLC standings.
"We love competing against Tech," Salo said. "We respect their program tremendously. We just put our lineup out there and see what would happen.
"Each year we look at how we can improve, just be the highest competitor we can be. Then we know there are specific teams we train for and (Tech is) one of them because they make us better. I think they've helped us raise our level. It was good quality tennis. Even our singles players that didn't win today it was good tennis."
Brainerd's doubles winners were the tandems of Taya Person-Heidi Jacobson at No. 1, Jaycie Hinrichs-Lily Jones at No. 2 and Ally Goeden-Addie Sanford at No. 3. Person-Jacobson raised their record to 19-1, Hinrichs-Jones are 15-4 and Goeden-Sanford 17-1.
St. Cloud Tech 4, Brainerd 3
No. 1: Ashley Tarrolly (SC) def Britney Fletcher 6-0, 6-0
No. 2: Kate Inderieden (SC) def Kate Kurtzman 6-0, 6-0
No. 3: Anne Bowe (SC) def Audrey Collins 6-1, 6-0
No. 4: Natalie Peterson (SC) def Kate Chaussee 6-0, 5-7, 6-4
No. 1: Taya Person-Heidi Jacobson (B) def Erin Hobday-Carly Heine 6-0, 6-2
No. 2: Jaycie Hinrichs-Lily Jones (B) def Ehrin Quinn-Leah Donnelly 6-1, 6-1
No. 3: Ally Goeden-Addie Sanford (B) def Chloe Woodman-Madison Dahnke 6-1, 6-1
JV singles winners vs. Tech:
Chloe Pecarich, Savannah Smith, Brynne Folden, Kylie Johnson, Keyahna Kurilla JV doubles winners vs. Tech:
Macey Peterson-Peyton McConkey, Amber Britton-Catherine Moraghan, Raleigh Mann-Taylor Ruhl, Emily Moore-Brynne Folden, Kylie Johnson-Keyahna Kurilla
JV winners vs. Staples-Motley:
Singles: Brynne Folden
Doubles: Natalie Feierabend-Lucia Johnson