FAIRMONT - The Class A, No. 5-ranked Waseca Bluejay tennis lineup lived up to its lofty billing during Tuesday's South Central Conference dual meet at the Cardinal Courts in Fairmont.
Waseca, the 2011 Class A state consolation runner-up, swept the doubles bracket in straight sets to highlight a 6-1 winning decision over the Fairmont Cardinals.
"After watching the first sets today, they (the Cardinals) look improved over last season," said Bluejay mentor Kyle Collins, whose lineup squares off against Class A, No. 2-ranked St. James in a key SCC dual meet at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in Waseca.
CHANGE OF PACE — Fairmont doubles player Andrea Carstensen (left) and Briana Gratz share a laugh at a changeover during tennis action Tuesday at the Cardinal Courts in Fairmont. Photo by Charlie Sorrells
First singles netter Abby Collins produced the Bluejays' initial team point of the team competition by blanking Aubrey Green in back-to-back 6-0 sets before Waseca's doubles teams reeled off three consecutive team points to seal the overall victory.
Abbe Hoehn and Shanly Nelson generated bookend 6-1 set victories over the Cardinals' Abby Fitzgerald and Sophie Shelgren at first doubles before the Bluejays' No. 2 tandem of Olivia McIntosh and Bailey Krueger outslugged Marina Rufli and Jill Paris, 6-4, 6-1.
Katie Tlusty and Maddy Knoll then delivered the meet-clinching fourth team tally by besting Andrea Carstensen and Briana Gratz, 6-4, 6-1, at No. 3 doubles.
Fairmont fourth singles player Missy Viesselman then prevented a Waseca sweep by battling back from a 5-0 first-set deficit to win in straight sets.
Viesselman reeled off seven unanswered game wins to pocket the opening segment by a 7-5 decision before coasting to a 6-1 second-set victory over Anna Hoehn.
Waseca senior Alicia Noll, who reached the Class A individual singles tournament's state quarterfinals last fall, then displayed her overall repetoire by outslugging Fairmont challenger Camilla Hermanrud at the No. 2 spot in the singles bracket.
Noll claimed an early service break to grab a quick 3-0 advantage before fending off the hard-hitting Hermanrud in the opening set, 6-3.
Hermanrud, a foreign exchange player from Norway, utilized her power game to grab a 2-1 lead during the second set only to watch the savvy Noll register a pivotal break at 3-2 en route to a well-earned 7-5 victory.
Maddie Muotka then wrapped up Waseca's team points by outlasting Allison Moeller in a marathon third singles match, 2-6, 6-2, (10-3).
Fairmont (8-4, 2-2 SCC) travels to Blue Earth Area on Thursday for a 4:30 p.m. dual meet.
Waseca 6, Fairmont 1
Singles: Abby Collins (W) d. Aubrey Green, 6-0, 6-0. Alicia Noll (W) d. Camilla Hermanrud, 6-3, 7-5. Maddie Muotka (W) d. Allison Moeller, 2-6, 6-2, (10-3). Missy Viesselman (F) d. Anna Hoehn, 7-5, 6-1.
Doubles: Abbe Hoehn-Shanly Nelson (W) d. Abby Fitzgerald-Sophie Shelgren, 6-1, 6-1. Bailey Krueger-Olivia McIntosh (W) d. Marina Rufli-Jill Paris, 6-4, 6-1. Katie Tlusty-Maddy Knoll (W) d. Andrea Carstensen-Briana Gratz, 6-4, 6-1.
Blue Earth Area 7, New Ulm 0 - The Bucs girls tennis team shut out the Eagles in a South Central Conference dual meet in New Ulm on Tuesday.
BEA's Karleigh Wolff won 6-2, 6-1 over Laura Albrecht at the No. 1 singles spot, and Lindsey Prokop followed with a 6-3, 6-0 win at second singles over Jennifer Martens.
Kaitlyn Olsen didn't lose a game in her fourth singles win, downing Miriam Jakel, 6-0, 6-0. Annika Wilhelmi completed the singles sweep with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Maya Sarkar at third singles.
Bekah Krussow and Adrien Wittlieff partnered up and did not lose a game at the third doubles position, defeating Mattea Seivert and Sicily Trullinger, 6-0, 6-0.
Aeli Olson and Paige Darrington took the second doubles win over Emma Varnich and Graclyn Sarkar 6-2, 6-1, while Karli Olsen and Natali Fellows completed the doubles sweep with a 6-0, 7-6 (7-2) win over Marissa Johnson and Hannah Jakel.
Blue Earth Area (8-3, 2-1 SCC) hosts Fairmont at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Schroeder Courts in Blue Earth.