The team season ended for the No. 8 seeded Vikings girls tennis team in the Section 7AA Championship quarterfinals at Elk River last Monday when the team lost 7-0 to the #1 seed Elks.
“Elk River was the top seeded team in our section, and it showed in our scores,” said coach Tom McLaughlin. “Many of our girls played some of their best tennis, but still couldn’t win a game. Our entire singles lineup didn’t win a game and neither did our third doubles. First and second doubles were able to play closer matches. Cydney Bettendorf and Janice Elkerton lost first doubles 4-6, 5-7 again playing some fantastic tennis against a good doubles team.”
Earlier in the season
On Sept. 25 the team lost 2-5 to visiting Irondale.
“We got victories from both first and second singles today,” said coach McLaughlin. “Gabrielle Ruddy won her match at 6-4, 6-1 playing stronger and stronger as the match went on. She has continued to improve her game and solidified her hold on the one singles position for us.
“Alexis Ferguson won at two singles 7-6 (11-9), 6-2. Her first set was a little rough to start out and she persevered to come back and tie the set 6-6 before winning it in a long hard fought tiebreaker. She was able to keep up the momentum in the seond set and close it out for the victory.”
The Vikings then hosted and lost to St. Louis Park 2-5 on Sept. 27.
“Our victories today came from first and second doubles,” said coach McLaughlin. “We had a chance to win the match with close calls at second and fourth singles. Cydney Bettendorf and Janice Elkerton played a solid match winning a very close first set in a tie breaker 7-6 (7-5) and then continued to play well closing out the match 6-4 in the second set. Cydney and Janice have played good defense throughout the year and have begun to generate more offense off of their strong defensive play.
“Christina Gamer and AlexAnn Koecher won easily 6-0, 6-0 at two doubles. They never really allowed their opponents to get going in the match and were able to dominate beginning to end in this one.”
On Oct. 2, the team won 6-1 over visiting Columbia Heights.
“A nice and welcome victory for the girls today,” said coach McLaughlin. “Gabrielle Ruddy and Britta Anderson at first and fourth singles, respectively, won 6-0, 6-0. Both girls played smart, controlled tennis. Second singles Alexis Ferguson won 6-1, 6-3. Alexis played a strong game attacking more often than she normally does and stepping up to hit stronger shots on short balls.
“First doubles Cydney Bettendorf and Janice Elkerton won 6-2, 6-4. They’ve become very good at attacking off a strong defensive game. Second doubles AlexAnn Koecher and Christina Gamer won 6-4, 6-3. Third doubles Lizzie Anderson and Kaitlyn Johnson won 6-1, 6-7 (4-7) 6-4. It was Kaitlyn’s first varsity victory.”
Last Thursday the girls tennis team traveled to Big Lake and lost 5-2 to the Hornets.
“First doubles Cydney Bettendorf and Janice Elkerton won 7-5, 7-6 (8-6),” said coach McLaughlin. “They have played better and better as the season has gone on. Both sets ended up tight, but the girls were able to keep their composure. It was very cold and windy that day and it affected everyone’s play, but they didn’t let it get to them. Both Cydney and Janice play to their opponents’ weaknesses, and they’ve been able to change their style of play accordingly all year. Second doubles AlexAnn Koecher and Christina Gamer were our other point winning 7-6 (7-4), 6-3.
North Branch girls tennis players competing in the 7AA Subsection Individual Championships are Becca Trunk and Ferguson in singles competition, and Bettendorf/Elkerton and Gamer/Koecher ind doubles. The subsections will be held at St. Francis High School or if bad weather threatens at the tennis bubble at Spring Lake Park beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 11. Individual 7AA Section Championships continue to take place Monday, Oct. 15 and Tuesday, Oct. 16.