FAIRMONT - Fairmont's six senior netters made the final regular-season appearance of their outstanding prep careers at the Cardinal Courts a memorable one on Thursday.
Aubrey Green, Missy Viesselman and Allison Moeller each posted straight-set singles wins, while Jill Paris, Briana Gratz and Andrea Carstensen contributed to straight-set doubles wins to help pace the hometown Cardinals' 6-1 non-league triumph over the Luverne Cardinals in Fairmont.
"It was a bit of an emotional match for all of the players today, especially the seniors. They're such a tight-knit group, and it hit them that this will be one of the last times that they'll all being playing together," said Fairmont mentor Kathy Krezel, whose lineup improved its overall record to an incredible 14-3 this fall. "We've still got one more home match left though."
LEFTY — Fairmont third singles player Allison Moeller steps into a forehand return during nonconference tennis action Thursday at Cardinal Courts in Fairmont (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)
RIGHTY — Fairmont second doubles player Jill Paris prepares to return a shot near the baseline during tennis action Thursday in Fairmont. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)
Indeed. No. 2-seeded Fairmont opens the postseason by playing host to either No. 7-seeded Lac qui Parle Valley or No. 10-seeded Pipestone Area in the Section 3A Team Meet's quarterfinals at 4 p.m. next Thursday at the Cardinal Courts.
Ironically, it didn't take long for the hometown Cardinals to build an early 3-0 edge in the team ledger against the upcoming Section 3A Team Meet's No. 4-seeded Cardinals from Luverne.
Viesselman utilized textbook groundstrokes to register a quick 6-1 decision over Kynzie Smedsrud in their No. 2 singles match's opening set before reeling off six straight games in the second set to claim another 6-1 win en route to Fairmont's initial team point.
Gratz and Carstensen coasted to an opening 6-2 victory over Joci Oye and Monaya Hustoft at third doubles before hitting a bit of a snag in the second segment.
Trailing 5-4, Carstensen opened the pivotal 10th game with a forehand pass into the doubles alley before Gratz capped the equalizer with a forehand winner down the left-hand alley.
Carstensen and Gratz then held serve to grab a 6-5 second-set edge before Gratz drilled another forehand passing shot into the doubles alley to ice the 7-5 victory and put Fairmont ahead 2-0 in the team scoring.
Green and Moeller then nearly finished at the same time in the singles bracket. Green posted back-to-back 6-1 set victories over Paige Adams at the No. 1 position in the lineup for Point 3, before Moeller locked up the team triumph by rallying in the second set of her third singles match for a 6-4 decision after netting a 6-0 first-set win.
Fairmont's first doubles tandem of Sophie Shelgren and Abby Fitzgerald played flawlessly to post a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Brianna Erickson and Danielle Kneip, while Paris combined with junior Shantel Quist to generate the same margin of victory - 6-3, 6-2 - during second doubles action against Lexie Severtson and Tatiana Gust.
Samantha Pierce netted Luverne's point by outdueling Ellie Tonder, 6-2, 6-3, at fourth singles.
Fairmont (14-3 overall, 3-2 South Central) competes in the SCC Meet at 9 a.m. Saturday in New Ulm.
Luverne (10-6), the No. 4 seed, plays host to No. 5-seeded Martin County West at 4 p.m. next Thursday in the Section 3A Team quarterfinals.
Fairmont 6, Luverne 1
Singles: Aubrey Green (F) d. Paige Adams, 6-1, 6-1. Missy Viesselman (F) d. Kynzie Smedsrud, 6-1, 6-1. Allison Moeller (F) d. Mckenzi Wenninger, 6-0, 6-4. Samantha Pierce (L) d. Ellie Tonder, 6-2, 6-3.
Doubles: Sophie Shelgren-Abby Fitzgerald (F) d. Brianna Erickson-Danielle Kneip, 6-3, 6-2. Jill Paris-Shantel Quist (F) d. Lexie Severtson-Tatiana Gust, 6-3, 6-2. Briana Gratz-Andrea Carstensen (F) d. Joci Oye-Monaya Hustoft, 6-2, 7-5.
Luverne 7, Fairmont 4
Doubles: Lauren Carlson-Madisyn Plumhoff (F) d. Emily Wendland-Brooke Nattress, 4-2, 4-2. Anagha Komaragiri-Hayley Fogelson (F) d. Brooke Nattress-Emily Wendland, 4-3, 4-0. Brianna Wessels-Kennedy Gonnerman (L) d. Leah Fortune-Kaitlyn Cihoski, 4-3, 4-3. Kayla Rud-Sierra Wieneke (L) d. Holly Petrowiak-Chloe Graif, 4-0, 2-4, (7-4). JoJo Kelley-Morgan Cihoski (F) d. Emily Wendland-Lexi Henrichs, 2-4, 4-2, (6-1). Carissa Cunningham-Riley Seventson (L) d. Chloe Diekmann-Sydney Hainy, 4-1, 7-6. Brianna Wessels-Kennedy Gonnerman (L) d. Emily O'Connor-Natalie Abel, 4-0, 4-2. Kayla Rud-Sierra Wieneke (L) d. Marina Speckman-Lydia Thatcher, 4-0, 4-1. Brooke Nattress-Emily Wendland (L) d. Brittany Bass-Makena Rodriguez, 4-0, 4-0. Emily Wendland-Lexi Henrichs (L) d. Madison Hagen-Kaitlyn Cihoski, 4-1, 4-2.
Singles: Lauren Carlson (F) d. Monaya Hastoft, 4-3, 4-2.
Blue Earth Area 6, River Valley 1 - The Bucs girls tennis team claimed all but one match victory to down the Wildcats 6-1 in a nonconference match on Thursday in Sleepy Eye.
Natali Fellows and Karli Olsen teamed up to beat Erika Ries and Natalie Stevens 6-1, 6-3 in the No. 1 doubles spot.
Beka Krussow and Paige Darrington then downed Ashley Johnson and Carissa Evers 6-2, 6-1 in the second doubles match, before the third doubles duo of Anikka Wilhelmi and Annaliese Klinkner completed the sweep of the doubles bracket.
Wilhelmi and Klinkner downed Tayler Hoffman and Karlie Ries 6-4, 6-0 in the No. 3 doubles spot for the Bucs.
Karleigh Wolff led off the singles portion of the meet with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Kalyn Haas at the No. 1 position, before Kaitlyn Olsen beat Lauren Laffen in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4 in the second singles spot.
Lindsey Prokop completed the Bucs' winning ways with a 6-1, 6-0 win at third singles over Alyssa Rubey.
Sara Haugo grabbed the Wildcats' only victory, defeating Lacey Benz 6-2, 6-3 at fourth singles.
Blue Earth Area (12-5, 2-3 SCC) plays in the SCC Meet at 9 a.m. Saturday in New Ulm.