Coon Rapids and Andover each sent a doubles team to compete in the Class AA state girls’ tennis tournament, but neither could find a win inside the Baseline Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Minnesota Oct. 24.
The Cardinals team of senior Emily Bauer and junior Heidi Hannula drew Minnetonka’s Brianna Smith and Theresa Tebon in the quarterfinals. The Skippers finished fourth, but handed Bauer/Hannula a 6-0, 6-2 loss.
“We worked really hard to get here,” Bauer said of the somewhat winding road to reach the state tournament. After losing the section semifinal to Centennial, the pair won the third-place match to force a decisive match for the true second-place spot and a place at state.
“That was really exciting to have a chance to redeem ourselves,” Bauer said. “It was definitely a suspenseful ride to get here.”
According to Bauer, nerves were more of a factor at sections simply because they wanted to reach state so badly.
The Coon Rapids pair regrouped for an afternoon match in the consolation bracket against Mahtomedi’s Emily Cooper/Hanna Shands. Bauer/Hannula won the opening set 7-5, but dropped the second set 6-2 to force a tie-breaker, third set. The Zephyrs won 10-6 to move on.
Andover’s senior team of Amanda Hostad and Ali May Kuebelbeck also drew a difficult first round match against Edina’s Kelly Reger and Sophia Reddy.
The Hornets eventually captured the third-place spot over the Minnetonka team, but not before scoring a 6-1, 6-1 win over the Huskies in the championship quarterfinals.
The loss relegated Hostad/Kuebelbeck to the consolation bracket where Prior Lake’s Chloe Hall/Savanna Crowell blanked the Huskies duo 6-0, 6-0 to end their season.
Hostad/Kuebelbeck reached state by winning a true second-place match in the Section 7AA tournament over a Duluth East pair at Arrowhead in Duluth Oct. 14.
Huskies coach Eric Bertram said reaching state was a great reward for the off-season effort.
“Great accomplishment for the girls,” he said. “It was their hard work in the offseason and this is what you get for it.”
Andover’s top singles player, Destiny Lee, failed to reach state as the top seed from the south sub-section. She lost to Elk River’s Megan Brown in the semifinal 7-5, 6-1 and a true second-place match was not needed.
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