Girls tennis earns gold in academics

The North Branch girls tennis team this season earned State Gold Academic Team status, while individual seniors Gabrielle Ruddy, Alexis Ferguson, AlexAnn Koecher and Christina Gamer attained Academic All-State. Row 1 (l-r): Captains Cydney Bettendorf, Gabrielle Ruddy, Alexis Ferguson. Row 2: Christina Gamer, Janice Elkerton, Grace Rollins, Samantha Weiss, Kaitlyn Johnson, AlexAnn Koecher. Row 3: Coach Tom McLaughlin, Samantha DeAdder, Britta Anderson, Elizabeth Anderson, Alyssa Nordberg, Manager Antonio Turitto, Manager Newell Fisk. File photo

The North Branch girls tennis team this season earned State Gold Academic Team status, while individual seniors Gabrielle Ruddy, Alexis Ferguson, AlexAnn Koecher and Christina Gamer attained Academic All-State. Row 1 (l-r): Captains Cydney Bettendorf, Gabrielle Ruddy, Alexis Ferguson. Row 2: Christina Gamer, Janice Elkerton, Grace Rollins, Samantha Weiss, Kaitlyn Johnson, AlexAnn Koecher. Row 3: Coach Tom McLaughlin, Samantha DeAdder, Britta Anderson, Elizabeth Anderson, Alyssa Nordberg, Manager Antonio Turitto, Manager Newell Fisk. File photo

Even though the North Branch girls tennis team’s season ended in the first round of team and individual section play, the team and four individuals are state winners.

The team earned State Gold Academic Team status for achieving a grade point average higher than 3.75. Individually, seniors Gabrielle Ruddy, Alexis Ferguson, AlexAnn Koecher and Christina Gamer attained Academic All-State.

In the 7AA Individual Subsections last Thursday, all the Viking individuals lost their matches.

Seeded No. 15, the doubles team of Cydney Bettendorf and Janice Elkerton lost 2-1, 2-1 to the No. 2 seed Forest Lake team, while No. 16 seed Christina Gamer and AlexAnn Koecher lost 2-0, 2-0 to the top seeded St. Francis team.

In singles all individuals lost 2-0 to the top tennis players.

Becca Trunk, seeded No. 13, lost to the No. 8 Chisago Lakes seed; Gabrielle Ruddy (14 seed) lost to Princeton’s No. 3 seed; and No. 16 Alexis Ferguson lost to the top seeded Princeton player.

“Individuals at sections received fairly low seeds this year and all played against top players right away in the first round,” said coach Tom McLaughlin. “Everyone played fantastic, but our opponents were actually that much better than us.”

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