August 16, 2022

Grant County Herald

Community news from the prairie to the lakes

Girls tennis team earns first-ever state berth

The 2021 Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta/West Central Area girls tennis team is the Section 3A team champion. The team includes (front left) Ashley Koehl, Karlie Bruns, (middle, left) assistant coach Jaclyn Hoeper, Chloe Zimmel, Kylie Mau, Lakia Manska, Abbigail Athey, Kassidy Girard, Kjersten Nibbe, Cate Kehoe, Breanna Schmidgall, head coach Britney House, (back, left) Tasha Koehl, Claire Stark, Hope Sperr, Lydia Fynboh and Liz Pollard. Contributed photo

The Morris Area / Chokio-Alberta / West Central Area girls tennis team is making history. The girls punched a ticket to their first-ever team state tournament after going 3-0 in Section 3A last week. The Tigers swept No. 7 MACCRAY, edged No. 3 Montevideo in the semifinals and beat No. 5 Benson/KMS in the championship. 

Sophomore Cate Kehoe won the West Central Conference tournament at No. 3 singles. It’s the first conference champion that MACA/WCA has produced in head coach Britney House’s career as coach.

Six Tigers begin Section 3A individual tournament Thursday, Oct. 14, in Sioux Falls, and finish up that tournament on Tuesday, Oct. 19, at Gustavus in St. Peter.

   West Central 

    Conference

The Tigers closed out the regular season with a successful West Central Conference tournament. Cate Kehoe took first place in her No. 3 singles bracket while the three other Tiger singles players – Abbigail Athey (No. 1 singles), Kassidy Girard (No. 2 singles) and Claire Stark (No. 4 singles) – finished second in their brackets.

“The singles girls all had to play Minnewaska in the final round, and they all played better than the last time we played them,”coach Britney House said.

Kehoe is the first West Central Conference champion that MACA/WCA has had since prior to 2013.

“I’m not sure when the last time a player has gotten first in their bracket,” said House, who has coached for six non-consecutive years.

Doubles duo Lakia Manska and Breanna Schmidgall (No. 2 doubles) and Lydia Fynboh and Liz Pollard (No. 3 doubles) both finished in fourth place in their respective brackets.

“At the end of the day, we were gathered together talking about how far they have all come, how much fun we have,” House said. “For eight of them, it was their last conference meet. Quite a few of us broke into tears, sad and happy at the same time.”

WCC tourney results

Singles

No. 1 – #1 Abbigail Athey 2-1, 2nd:

Def. Nokelby of MACCRAY 8-6

Def. Hokanson of Sauk Centre 8-0

Lost to Thorfinnson of Minnewaska 8-5

No. 2 – #2 Kassidy Girard 2-1, 2nd:

Def. Kvan of YME 8-1

Def. Matthies of LQPV/D-B 8-6

Lost to Randt of Minnewaska 8-6

No. 3 – #2 Cate Kehoe 3-0, 1st:

Def. Mueller of Melrose 8-4

Def. Lindeman of Montevideo 8-4

Def. Hagen of Minnewaska 8-6

No. 4 – #2 Claire Stark 2-1, 2nd:

Def. Jimenz of YME 8-0

Def. Dehne of Montevideo 8-3

Lost to Thorfinnson of Minnewaska 8-2

Doubles

No. 1 – #6 Hope Sperr / Kjersten Nibbe 0-2, DNP:

Lost to Halvorson / Lowry of LPQV/D-B 9-8

Lost to Marthaler / DIckinson of Sauk Centre 8-5

No. 2 – #2 Lakia Manska / Breanna Schmidgall 1-2, 4th:

Def. Burnette/Janssen of MACCRAY 8-0

Lost to Dahl/Bleick of Minnewaska 8-4

Lost to Quisberg/Miller of Benson/KMS 8-4

No. 3 – #3 Lydia Fynboh / Liz Pollard 1-2, 4th:

Def. Seehusen/Shubert of MACCRAY 8-0

Lost to Thelen/Davis of Melrose 8-3

Lost to Hettever/McNeill of Benson/KMS 8-1

      Section 3A 

Team Quarterfinals

 MACA/WCA – 7

   MACCRAY – 0

The Tigers earned their fifth sweep of the season in the Section 3A opener against No. 7 MACCRAY Monday, Oct. 4, in Morris.

“It was a beautiful day to play tennis,” House said. “The girls played really well. We haven’t been ranked this high in our section before so I was hoping the girls wouldn’t get anxious, but they maintained a strong mental game.”

Lakia Manska and Breanna Schmidgall earned a double bagel victory at No. 2 doubles. 

“It’s called a bagel in tennis because the zero in the score of 6-0 resembles the shape of a bagel,” House said.