May 29, 2024

MACA/WCA tennis opens season at 2-1

Kassidy Girard

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Sports reporter

The Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta/West Central Area girls tennis team almost went 3-0 right out of the gate last week, but a 4-3 loss to Luverne put a stop to that perfect record Saturday, Aug. 21, in Morris. The Tigers beat Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 5-2 Friday, Aug. 20, in Belgrade and split in home opener action Saturday, Aug. 21 by losing to Luverne and sweeping Pipestone 7-0.

“At the end of the week, everyone was tired, but reported that they had fun, gave it their best, and were able to make adjustments and improve from Friday to Saturday without having a practice in between. These girls are extremely coachable, and I want to thank their parents for that,” Tiger coach Britney House said.

Kassidy “Sour Patch” Girard was one of four to go undefeated last week.

“Kassidy did a wonderful job at singles this week and took charge of all her matches,” House said.

The nickname is thanks to assistant coach Jaclyn Hoeper.

“She’s sweet then sour,” Hoeper explained of Girard, who would sometimes get down on herself after losing a point. “It made her smile, didn’t it?”

Girard lost just three games in four sets of action on Saturday, in Morris. Along with Girard, Cate Kehoe and KJ Nibbe are 3-0 on the season while Tasha Koehl is also undefeated at 2-0.

MACA/WCA played Fergus Falls and Park Rapids in a triangular Tuesday, Aug. 24 and next play MACCRAY Tuesday, Aug. 31 and at Lac qui Parle Valley Thursday, Sept. 2, in Madison.


B-B-E – 2

The Tigers beat B-B-E 5-2 in the season opener Friday, Aug. 20, in Belgrade.

“BBE was non conference and non section, so I tried Abbigail (Athey) out at doubles since Hope (Sperr) was gone,” House explained of the season opening move.

It proved to be a good move as Athey and KJ Nibbe won at the No. 2 spot 6-3, 6-0.

Lydia Fynboh and Liz Pollard won at No. 3 doubles by pulling out a tough second set 7-5. Girard, Kehoe, and Koehl all won their singles matches in straight sets.

“It was a windy day and the first real wind we’ve had to play in. The wind always levels the playing field,” House said. “The girls were a little nervous for their first match and it took them a bit to settle in.”

BBE, which MACA/WCA swept last season, improved from a year ago, House said.


No. 1 – Kassidy Girard, MORRIS–MACA/WCA def. Annika Heieie, BELGRADE-BROOTEN-ELROSA, 6-3 , 6-3

No. 2 – Paige Prentice, BELGRADE-BROOTEN-ELROSA def. Claire Stark, MORRIS–MACA/WCA, 5-7 , 6-3 , 10-5

No. 3 – Catherine Kehoe, MORRIS–MACA/WCA def. Lucy Trowbridge, BELGRADE-BROOTEN-ELROSA 6-3 , 6-1

No. 4 – Tasha Koehl, MORRIS–MACA/WCA def. Hannah Hirman, BELGRADE-BROOTEN-ELROSA, 6-3 , 6-4 


No. 1 – Olivia Thieschafer, BELGRADE-BROOTEN-ELROSA. – Tiyana Schwinghammer, BELGRADE-BROOTEN-ELROSA . def. Breanna Schmidgall, MORRIS–MACA/WCA – Lakia Manska, MORRIS–MACA/WCA, 6-2 , 6-3

No. 2 – Abbigail Athey, MORRIS–MACA/WCA  – Kjersten Nibbe , MORRIS–MACA/WCA def. Presley Defloff, BELGRADE-BROOTEN-ELROSA  – Shelby Anderson, BELGRADE-BROOTEN-ELROSA, 6-3 , 6-0

No. 3 – Lydia Fynboh, MORRIS–MACA/WCA- Elizabeth Pollard, MORRIS–MACA/WCA) def. Izzy Graham, BELGRADE-BROOTEN-ELROSA – Skylar Knight, BELGRADE-BROOTEN-ELROSA , 6-3 , 7-5

Luverne – 4


Neck-and-neck until the final match Luverne pulled out the win over MACA/WCA, 4-3, in match one of a triangular Saturday, Aug. 21, in Morris.

“This was such a close match. Four of the matches went into three sets. That meet took five hours, which is uncommon. We only have the five courts and against competitive teams our meets tend to take longer.”

The Tigers played their line-up backwards, and will for the entire season, playing first doubles and first singles last.

“I knew it was going to be close from looking at Luverne’s scores from last year… I wanted those top experienced players to have the pressure of the match instead of the 3 and 4 spots. And it did come down to those matches,” House said.

The Tigers won three of the first five matches when the first singles and first doubles hit the court. The rule is that if the match outcome is already decided and two sets are split, coaches can agree to play a third set tiebreaker.

Against Luverne, this wasn’t the case and both matches went into a third full set.

“Both teams really hustled and kept positive attitudes, it was great tennis to watch. For first doubles, it came down to a tiebreaker for the third set and first doubles lost 4-7. And we still had another match to play!”

They ended up losing at No. 1 singles 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 for Luverne to edge out the team victory.

“Luverne had a team that showed good sportsmanship and team chemistry. It was great to get to play them for the first time,” House said.


No. 1 – Mia Wenzel, LUVERNE  def. Abbigail Athey, MORRIS–MACA/WCA6-3 , 4-6 , 7-5

No. 2 – Kassidy Girard, MORRIS–MACA/WCA def. Olivia Wieneke, LUVERNE, 6-2 , 6-0

No. 3 – Catherine Kehoe, MORRIS–MACA/WCA def. Jacey Smith, LUVERNE 6-2 , 4-6 , 6-3

No. 4 – Roselynn Hartshorn, LUVERNE def. Claire Stark, MORRIS–MACA/WCA, 6-3 , 7-5.


No. 1 – Kristin Rud, LUVERNE  – Hope Thorson, LUVERNE def. Breanna Schmidgall – Lakia Manska, MORRIS–MACA/WCA, 3-6 , 7-5 , 7-6 (4)

No. 2 – Kjersten Nibbe , MORRIS–MACA/WCA  – Hope Sperr, MORRIS–MACA/WCA def. N/A – N/A, 6-2 , 2-6 , 6-0

No. 3 – Tori Hemme, LUVERNE  – Priscilla Muehr, LUVERNE  def. Lydia Fynboh, MORRIS–MACA/WCA  – Elizabeth Pollard, MORRIS–MACA/WCA, 7-5 , 6-0.


Pipestone – 0

The Tigers swept Pipestone, 7-0, after already playing long matches against Luverne earlier in the afternoon.

“Even though most of them had long matches already, they came out ready to play hard and hustle,” House said. “I was so very impressed with the first doubles because they were so tired after their 3.5-hour match, but they maintained a high level of play. Breanna (Schmidgall) even said, ‘I found out I can do way more than I thought I could!’ This is what high school sports are all about!”

They won 6-2, 6-1 while Girard gave up just one game to win in straight sets at No. 2 singles. Cate Kehoe extended her match a bit by winning a first set tiebreaker 8-6 before sweeping the second set 6-0. Tasha Koehl also preferred the longer match route as she fell 6-1 in the first set, but battled back to win 6-0, 6-4.

In doubles, Breanna Schmidgall and Lakia Manska won 6-3, 6-2 while KJ Nibbe-Hope Sperr won 6-1, 6-0 and Lydia Fynboh-Liz Pollard won 6-0, 6-1.


No. 1 – Abbigail Athey, MORRIS–MACA/WCA def. Toryn Woelber, PIPESTONE, 6-2 , 6-1.

No. 2 – Kassidy Girard, MORRIS–MACA/WCA def. Emma Stahl, PIPESTONE, 6-1 , 6-0.

No. 3 – Catherine Kehoe, MORRIS–MACA/WCA def. Brielle Kulm, PIPESTONE, 7-6 (6), 6-0.

No. 4 – Tasha Koehl, MORRIS–MACA/WCA def. Jasmine Boeke, PIPESTONE, 1-6 , 6-0 , 6-4.


No. 1 – Breanna Schmidgall, MORRIS–MACA/WCA – Lakia Manska, MORRIS–MACA/WCA def. Kennedy Manderscheid, PIPESTONE – Jenna Boeke, PIPESTONE, 6-3 , 6-2.

No. 2 – Kjersten Nibbe , MORRIS–MACA/WCA  – Hope Sperr, MORRIS–MACA/WCA) def. Alyssa Enger, PIPESTONE – Madison Purdin, PIPESTONE SENIOR HIGH, 6-1 , 6-0.

No. 3 – Lydia Fynboh, MORRIS–MACA/WCA  – Elizabeth Pollard, MORRIS–MACA/WCA  def. N/A – N/A, 6-0 , 6-1.

Brooke Kern
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