Warriors Athlete of Week: Brainerd duo comes together at the right time

Brainerd Warriors seniors Lindsy Busch and Catherine Moraghan came together as a doubles team to advance far into the Section 7-2A individual bracket.


Catherine Moraghan and Lindsy Busch are singles players playing the roles of doubles players.

And the Brainerd Warriors senior tennis players are hitting their roles out of the park.

As a singles player, Moraghan finished her senior season with a 23-4 overall record. Busch was 27-2 this season in a mix of singles and doubles action. The pair helped the Warriors to a Central-Lakes-Conference leading 7-0 record and an 18-2 overall record, which included advancing the Section 7-2A team semifinals.


Girls Tennis: CLC champions Warriors beat Bemidji
Before Brainerd’s section semifinal match, Busch-Moraghan went in a side venture and became doubles partners for the Section 7-2A individual tournament. The two were awarded the No. 4 seed in the North subsection bracket and opened with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Duluth Denfeld’s Ava Borham-Mercedes Floerke.

“The coaches told me they wanted me to play in individuals with Lindsy since I was part of the top six players in the lineup,” Moraghan said. “They thought they would stick me into doubles and that’s kind of how it went and that’s how we got here.”

The two played doubles together before during their sophomore seasons. Moraghan said it didn’t take long for the two to reconnect and get back to their doubles-winning ways.

“Honestly, I wasn’t too nervous about that first match,” Busch said. “I was actually very excited. I just love the competition and I know Catherine plays really well so I wasn’t too nervous.”

Tennis Lindsey Busch.jpg
Lindsy Busch returns a shot earlier in the season for the Brainerd Warriors girls tennis team. Kely Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

The first-round victory pushed Brainerd into a match-up with Pequot Lakes’ No. 1 doubles team of Kelbee Lamp-Alexis Peterson. Brainerd topped that team 6-0, 6-1 to set up a match with the No. 1 seeded team of Annika Lundell-Abigail Sullivan of Hibbing.

“We talked to (teammates) Brynne (Folden) and Lila (Collins) who played them during the season and got their feedback on how that match went,” Moraghan said. “We really just wanted to go out there and play our game and just be confident in our shots just knowing that if we played well and were confident that would be enough.”


Like the previous two matches, Busch-Moraghan won their match against the Hibbing team in straight sets 6-2, 6-4.

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“Their performance during that tournament was very impressive, especially their match against a very good No. 1 seed,” Brainerd head coach Lisa Salo said. “They dominated the match from start to finish. There was no question they were the strongest team there. With their performance, they advanced to the ‘final 4’ of Section 7-2A tournament, one step away from the state tournament.”

Salo said the pairing of Busch and Moraghan was a power move — literally.

“The power they both can hit with, especially on their groundstrokes and the ability to use versatility in their shots when needed, are key factors to their success,” Salo said. “Their serves are both weapons and they use them and their groundstrokes to help set up each other at the net.”

The three wins pushed their record playing together to 4-0 for the season. For their three-year varsity careers prior to Tuesday’s Section 7-2A individual finals, Moraghan owned a 56-6 career record. Busch is sitting at 45-3.

" I just love the competition and I know Catherine plays really well so I wasn’t too nervous."

— Lindsy, Busch

During last year’s COVID-19 shortened season, Moraghan finished 10-0 while Busch was 9-1.

“I feel like we are a power-hitting team and the Hibbing team was too,” Busch said. “So we just used our power against them and they probably weren’t used to that.”


Moraghan said the Hibbing team seemed caught off guard by the Brainerd pair’s power.

"It’s going to be the last year and I just wanted to have as much fun as possible."

— Catherine, Moraghan

Like Brainerd’s No. 1 doubles team, the Busch-Moraghan pairing seems to have similar attributes that make them a formidable team.

Busch said she’s explosive at the net, while Moraghan’s groundstrokes are downright filthy.

During the Section 7-2A team tournament, Brainerd blanked St. Francis 7-0 in the opening round. Moraghan topped her No. 3 singles opponent 6-2, 6-0 while Busch teamed with Ericah Folden for a 6-1, 4-6, 6-0 victory at No. 2 doubles.

Girls Tennis: Warriors advance to section quarters with sweep
In a 4-3 quarterfinal victory over Hibbing, Moraghan won 6-1, 6-3, while Busch-Folden won 6-2, 6-1 at No. 2 doubles.

Girls Tennis: Warriors pull out thriller in quarterfinals
In a 6-1 loss to eventual section champion Elk River, both Moraghan and the Busch-Folden pairing forced a third set before falling.

Girls Tennis: Top-seeded Elks fend off Warriors
“I have to say, Catherine's performance was one of the best we've seen from her in her entire career,” Salo said. “She met a super-strong Elk River player and the match was almost three hours long.


“Lindsy is playing the best tennis of her career as well. Their efforts contributed to a great team match. So many said ‘no one will push Elk River’ all season as Elk River was ranked in the top 5-6 in the state. They helped our team push Elk River and we had four, three-set matches.”

Tennis Catherine Moraghan.jpg
Brainerd's Catherine Moraghan applies some spin on her shot earlier this season. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

While the loss may have ended the team’s run it didn’t detract from the goals both girls set for themselves.

“We did lose a lot of seniors from last year’s team,” Busch said. “So this year, I was trying to be undefeated. Since this was my senior year, I just wanted to have fun and not be too stressed out.”

Moraghan’s goals were similar. She said she just wanted to enjoy the year.

“It’s going to be the last year and I just wanted to have as much fun as possible,” she added. “I just wanted to win my points for the team and try to grow my game as much as I possibly could in this last year and I think I have.”


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

Other notable performances

Ryan Westerberg, boys soccer, scored two goals against Sartell.

Mya Tautges, girls swimming and diving, won the 50- and 100-yard freestyles and was on a winning relay against Melrose.

Thomas Ruhl, cross-country, placed second in 16:36.2 in the St. Cloud Invite to lead the Warrior boys to first.

Catherine Moraghan


Catherine Moraghan

Sport: Girls tennis

Position: Doubles

Year: Senior

Age: 17

Height: 5-foot-10

Career highlight: Advancing to top four of Section 7-2A tournament

Grade-point average: 4.1

Favorite class: Spanish

Favorite food: Tacos

Favorite movie: Lord of the Rings trilogy

Favorite website or app: YouTube

Favorite restaurant: Black Bear Lodge and Saloon

Future plans: Attend college

Favorite athlete: Rafael Nadal

Parents: Tom and Jill Moraghan

Lindsy Busch

Lindsy Busch

Sport: Girls tennis

Position: Doubles

Year: Senior

Age: 18

Height: 5-foot-5

Career highlight: Advancing to top four of Section 7-2A tournament

Other sports: Softball

Grade-point average: 3.3

Favorite class: Math

Favorite food: Pasta

Favorite movie: “Step Brothers

Favorite TV show: “Outer Banks”

Favorite website or app: Snapchat

Favorite restaurant: El Tequila Mexican Restaurant

Future plans: Attend college

Favorite athlete: Serena Williams

Parents: Robert and Micky Busch

Covering the Brainerd lakes area sports scene for the past 23 years.
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