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Smith qualifies for state tennis meet

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Christina Smith will give the Park Rapids girls tennis team a representative at the state Class A tournament for the fourth year in a row.

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Smith finished second in singles at the Section 8A tournament at the Grand Forks Center Courts Saturday to earn her second straight trip to state.

The Park Rapids sophomore, who teamed with Alyssa Carlson to win the section title in doubles last year, entered this year's section meet as the No. 3 seed in singles. Smith opened the tournament with a 6-0, 6-4 win over Roseau senior Ashley Larsen, the No. 14 seed, Friday night.

In Saturday's quarterfinals, Smith defeated Pequot Lakes senior Kaycee Nelson, the No. 6 seed, 6-0, 6-1 before upsetting Staples-Motley sophomore Mikayla Wing 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinals. Wing entered as the No. 2 seed.

Junior Jessamy Jones of East Grand Forks, the No. 1 seed, defended her section title with a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Smith in the championship match.

Smith will carry a 17-10 overall record to state, which begins Oct. 27 at the Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis.

"I knew that Christina could beat Mikayla. The first time that Christina played in Staples, she wasn't playing her best game. On Saturday she was playing the best tennis that I have seen from her," said Park Rapids head coach Nicole Brandt. "Christina worked hard and played very well. She truly earned her trip to state."

In addition to Smith, the Panthers had two other entrants earn medals.

Bonnie Baumgartner and Allie Girtz, the No. 1 seed in doubles, fell short of qualifying for state with a loss in a true-second match.

Baumgartner and Girtz opened with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over senior Kristin Kane and sophomore Kori Salo of New York Mills, the No. 17 seed, Friday night and eliminated junior Brooke Wolhowe and freshman Grace Wolhowe of Staples-Motley, the No. 8 seed, 6-2, 6-2 in Saturday's quarterfinals. The Park Rapids seniors reached the championship match with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Roseau sophomores Bethany Tangen and Bailey Janzen, the No. 4 seed, in the semifinals.

Staples-Motley junior Maggie O'Keefe and sophomore Kelsey Zetah claimed the section title with a 6-3, 6-4 win over the Park Rapids duo. O'Keefe and Zetah entered as the No. 2 seed. When senior Bailey Morris and junior Lilli Denison of Crookston, the No. 6 seed, defeated Tangen and Janzen 6-3, 6-4 in the third-place match, a true-second match was needed to decide the other state qualifier.

Morris and Denison took advantage of their second chance, defeating Baumgartner and Girtz 6-2, 7-5 to qualify for state. Baumgartner and Girtz ended the season with a 26-5 record.

"It was hard to watch Allie and Bonnie's season come to an end. They are such a great doubles team. Allie was battling shoulder pain and she had a hard time finishing her last match," said Brandt. "I was proud of the girls for playing their last match through the emotion of losing in the championship match."

Park Rapids sophomore Julia Renner finished fourth in singles for the second straight year.

The No. 5 seed opened with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Pequot Lakes senior Jaden Lindner in Friday's first round and advanced to the semifinals with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 win over Roseau senior Taylor McFarlane in Saturday's quarterfinals. Lindner was the No. 12 seed and McFarlane was the No. 4 seed.

Renner followed a 6-1, 6-1 loss to Jones in the semifinals with a 6-2, 6-4 loss to Wing to finish fourth and end the season with a 27-7 record in singles.

"Julia played very well," said Brandt. "She is a strong player and I see her doing great things next season."

Park Rapids' other section entrant, the senior duo of Lexi Burlingame and Katie Walsh, were eliminated with a 6-3, 6-2 loss to Morris and Denison. Burlingame and Walsh, who were the No. 11 seed, ended the season with a 16-10 record as doubles partners.

SINGLES

First round

Victoria Selander, New York Mills, over Ashley Silbernagel, Perham, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2; Jessamy Jones, East Grand Forks, over Selander 6-2, 6-0; Emily Israelson, Staples-Motley, over Riley Erickson, Crookston, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4); Julia Renner, Park Rapids, over Jaden Lindner, Pequot Lakes, 6-1, 6-1; Taylor McFarlane, Roseau, over Paige Hartman, Wadena-Deer Creek, 6-2, 6-2; Christina Smith, Park Rapids, over Ashley Larsen, Roseau, 6-0, 6-4; Kaycee Nelson, Pequot Lakes, over Suzanne Coleman, Perham, 6-4, 6-0; Chessa Jones, East Grand Forks, over Macy Hartman, Wadena-Deer Creek, 6-1, 6-3; Abby Wilder, Crookston, over Emily Blomberg, New York Mills, 6-0, 6-1; Mikayla Wing, Staples-Motley, over Wilder 6-2, 6-3.

Quarterfinals

J. Jones over Israelson 6-2, 6-0; Renner over McFarlane 6-2, 2-6, 6-4; Smith over Nelson 6-0, 6-1; Wing over C. Jones 6-1, 6-3.

Semifinals

J. Jones over Renner 6-1, 6-1; Smith over Wing 6-4, 6-4.

Finals

J. Jones over Smith 6-0, 6-0 (title); Wing over Renner 6-2, 6-4 (third).

DOUBLES

First round

Kori Salo/Kristin Kane, New York Mills, over Hanna Jacobson/Ashley Carlson, Wadena-Deer Creek, 6-3, 6-2; Bonnie Baumgartner/Allie Girtz, Park Rapids, over Salo/Kane 6-2, 6-0; Brooke Wolhowe/Grace Wolhowe, Staples-Motley, over Kylie Simmons/Caitlin Wahouske, Crookston, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5); Lilly Mankie/Bethany Driscoll, East Grand Forks, over Paige Beigler/Hannah Breck, Perham, 6-3, 6-2; Bethany Tangen/Bailey Janzen, Roseau, over Krista Guldseth/Jenna Esala, New York Mills, 6-1, 6-0; Tricia Villella/Haley Wiebolt, Pequot Lakes, over Mary Ann Kueble/Chelsea Honer, Perham, 6-1, 6-0; Bailey Morris/Lilli Denison, Crookston, over Lexi Burlingame/Katie Walsh, Park Rapids, 6-3, 6-2; Ellie Heggerston/Nicci Hedtke, Pequot Lakes, over Karlie Hedlund/Gracie Olson, Roseau, 7-5, 6-2; Katelyn Berggren/Kelli Radi, East Grand Forks, over Sarah Najjar/Abby Wegscheid, Wadena-Deer Creek, 6-1, 6-1; Maggie O'Keefe/Kelsey Zetah, Staples-Motley, over Berggren/Radi 6-2, 6-1.

Quarterfinals

Baumgartner/Girtz over B. Wolhowe/G. Wolhowe 6-2, 6-2; Tangen/Janzen over Mankie/Driscoll 6-1, 6-3; Morris/Denison over Villella/Wiebolt 6-2, 7-6 (6-3); O'Keefe/Zetah over Heggerston/Hedtke 6-1, 7-6 (6-2).

Semifinals

Baumgartner/Girtz over Tangen/Janzen 6-2, 6-0; O'Keefe/Zetah over Morris/Denison 6-1, 6-4.

Finals

O'Keefe/Zetah over Baumgartner/Girtz 6-3, 6-4 (title); Morris/Denison over Tangen/Janzen 6-3, 6-4; Morris/Denison over Baumgartner/Girtz 6-2, 7-5 (true second).

Panthers fall in semifinals

Park Rapids' bid to qualify for the state tournament for the first time in school history was denied with a 5-2 semifinal loss to Staples-Motley Friday.

Renner posted a straight-set win at No. 2 singles while Heidi Schaum prevailed in a third-set tiebreaker at No. 4 singles to account for the Panthers' two points. Girtz and Baumgartner lost a third-set tiebreaker at No. 1 doubles.

The Panthers, who were the No. 3 seed, lost to Staples-Motley 4-3 during the regular season. Park Rapids ended the year with a 12-6 record in dual meets.

Staples-Motley, the No. 2 seed, defeated No. 1 Pequot Lakes 5-2 in Friday's championship match. The Cardinals, who will be competing at state for the seventh year in a row after winning the Section 6A title the last four years and winning the Section 8A title in 2005 and 2006, will carry a 18-3 record to state. Pequot Lakes eliminated No. 4 Crookston 4-3 in Friday's other semifinal match.

"As a team, I knew that it would be tough. The top three teams were just so close in ability this year," said Brandt. "Some of the girls played some great tennis and I think that nerves gave others some trouble. It just came down to Staples wanting it and going for it."

Staples-Motley 5, Park Rapids 2

No. 1 singles: Mikayla Wing, S-M, over Christina Smith 6-4, 6-3.

No. 2 singles: Julia Renner, PR, over Sarah Koopman 6-2, 6-2.

No. 3 singles: Clarissa Ponti, S-M, over Lydia Schaum 7-6, 6-3.

No. 4 singles: Heidi Schaum, PR, over Karlee Haglin 6-2, 2-6, 6-4.

No. 1 doubles: Maggie O'Keefe/Kelsey Zetah, S-M, over Allie Girtz/Bonnie Baumgartner 4-6, 7-5, 10-7.

No. 2 doubles: Brooke Wolhowe/Emily Israelson, S-M, over Katie Walsh/Lexi Burlingame 6-1, 6-2.

No. 3 doubles: Nikki Edin/Grace Wolhowe, S-M, over Taylor Wheeler/Charity Ridlon 6-2, 6-2.

BY Vance Carlson

vancec@parkrapidsenterprise.com

Christina Smith will give the Park Rapids girls tennis team a representative at the state Class A tournament for the fourth year in a row.

Smith finished second in singles at the Section 8A tournament at the Grand Forks Center Courts Saturday to earn her second straight trip to state.

The Park Rapids sophomore, who teamed with Alyssa Carlson to win the section title in doubles last year, entered this year's section meet as the No. 3 seed in singles. Smith opened the tournament with a 6-0, 6-4 win over Roseau senior Ashley Larsen, the No. 14 seed, Friday night.

In Saturday's quarterfinals, Smith defeated Pequot Lakes senior Kaycee Nelson, the No. 6 seed, 6-0, 6-1 before upsetting Staples-Motley sophomore Mikayla Wing 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinals. Wing entered as the No. 2 seed.

Junior Jessamy Jones of East Grand Forks, the No. 1 seed, defended her section title with a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Smith in the championship match.

Smith will carry a 17-10 overall record to state, which begins Oct. 27 at the Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis.

In addition to Smith, the Panthers had two other entrants earn medals.

Bonnie Baumgartner and Allie Girtz, the No. 1 seed in doubles, fell short of qualifying for state with a loss in a true-second match.

Baumgartner and Girtz opened with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over senior Kristin Kane and sophomore Kori Salo of New York Mills, the No. 17 seed, Friday night and eliminated junior Brooke Wolhowe and freshman Grace Wolhowe of Staples-Motley, the No. 8 seed, 6-2, 6-2 in Saturday's quarterfinals. The Park Rapids seniors reached the championship match with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Roseau sophomores Bethany Tangen and Bailey Janzen, the No. 4 seed, in the semifinals.

Staples-Motley junior Maggie O'Keefe and sophomore Kelsey Zetah claimed the section title with a 6-3, 6-4 win over the Park Rapids duo. O'Keefe and Zetah entered as the No. 2 seed. When senior Bailey Morris and junior Lilli Denison of Crookston, the No. 6 seed, defeated Tangen and Janzen 6-3, 6-4 in the third-place match, a true-second match was needed to decide the other state qualifier.

Morris and Denison took advantage of their second chance, defeating Baumgartner and Girtz 6-2, 7-5 to qualify for state. Baumgartner and Girtz ended the season with a 26-5 record.

Park Rapids sophomore Julia Renner finished fourth in singles for the second straight year.

The No. 5 seed opened with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Pequot Lakes senior Jaden Lindner in Friday's first round and advanced to the semifinals with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 win over Roseau senior Taylor McFarlane in Saturday's quarterfinals. Lindner was the No. 12 seed and McFarlane was the No. 4 seed.

Renner followed a 6-1, 6-1 loss to Jones in the semifinals with a 6-2, 6-4 loss to Wing to finish fourth and end the season with a 27-7 record in singles.

Park Rapids' other section entrant, the senior duo of Lexi Burlingame and Katie Walsh, were eliminated with a 6-3, 6-2 loss to Morris and Denison. Burlingame and Walsh, who were the No. 11 seed, ended the season with a 16-10 record as doubles partners.

SINGLES

First round

Victoria Selander, New York Mills, over Ashley Silbernagel, Perham, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2; Jessamy Jones, East Grand Forks, over Selander 6-2, 6-0; Emily Israelson, Staples-Motley, over Riley Erickson, Crookston, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4); Julia Renner, Park Rapids, over Jaden Lindner, Pequot Lakes, 6-1, 6-1; Taylor McFarlane, Roseau, over Paige Hartman, Wadena-Deer Creek, 6-2, 6-2; Christina Smith, Park Rapids, over Ashley Larsen, Roseau, 6-0, 6-4; Kaycee Nelson, Pequot Lakes, over Suzanne Coleman, Perham, 6-4, 6-0; Chessa Jones, East Grand Forks, over Macy Hartman, Wadena-Deer Creek, 6-1, 6-3; Abby Wilder, Crookston, over Emily Blomberg, New York Mills, 6-0, 6-1; Mikayla Wing, Staples-Motley, over Wilder 6-2, 6-3.

Quarterfinals

J. Jones over Israelson 6-2, 6-0; Renner over McFarlane 6-2, 2-6, 6-4; Smith over Nelson 6-0, 6-1; Wing over C. Jones 6-1, 6-3.

Semifinals

J. Jones over Renner 6-1, 6-1; Smith over Wing 6-4, 6-4.

Finals

J. Jones over Smith 6-0, 6-0 (title); Wing over Renner 6-2, 6-4 (third).

DOUBLES

First round

Kori Salo/Kristin Kane, New York Mills, over Hanna Jacobson/Ashley Carlson, Wadena-Deer Creek, 6-3, 6-2; Bonnie Baumgartner/Allie Girtz, Park Rapids, over Salo/Kane 6-2, 6-0; Brooke Wolhowe/Grace Wolhowe, Staples-Motley, over Kylie Simmons/Caitlin Wahouske, Crookston, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5); Lilly Mankie/Bethany Driscoll, East Grand Forks, over Paige Beigler/Hannah Breck, Perham, 6-3, 6-2; Bethany Tangen/Bailey Janzen, Roseau, over Krista Guldseth/Jenna Esala, New York Mills, 6-1, 6-0; Tricia Villella/Haley Wiebolt, Pequot Lakes, over Mary Ann Kueble/Chelsea Honer, Perham, 6-1, 6-0; Bailey Morris/Lilli Denison, Crookston, over Lexi Burlingame/Katie Walsh, Park Rapids, 6-3, 6-2; Ellie Heggerston/Nicci Hedtke, Pequot Lakes, over Karlie Hedlund/Gracie Olson, Roseau, 7-5, 6-2; Katelyn Berggren/Kelli Radi, East Grand Forks, over Sarah Najjar/Abby Wegscheid, Wadena-Deer Creek, 6-1, 6-1; Maggie O'Keefe/Kelsey Zetah, Staples-Motley, over Berggren/Radi 6-2, 6-1.

Quarterfinals

Baumgartner/Girtz over B. Wolhowe/G. Wolhowe 6-2, 6-2; Tangen/Janzen over Mankie/Driscoll 6-1, 6-3; Morris/Denison over Villella/Wiebolt 6-2, 7-6 (6-3); O'Keefe/Zetah over Heggerston/Hedtke 6-1, 7-6 (6-2).

Semifinals

Baumgartner/Girtz over Tangen/Janzen 6-2, 6-0; O'Keefe/Zetah over Morris/Denison 6-1, 6-4.

Finals

O'Keefe/Zetah over Baumgartner/Girtz 6-3, 6-4 (title); Morris/Denison over Tangen/Janzen 6-3, 6-4; Morris/Denison over Baumgartner/Girtz 6-2, 7-5 (true second).

Panthers fall in semifinals

Park Rapids' bid to qualify for the state tournament for the first time in school history was denied with a 5-2 semifinal loss to Staples-Motley Friday.

Renner posted a straight-set win at No. 2 singles while Heidi Schaum prevailed in a third-set tiebreaker at No. 4 singles to account for the Panthers' two points. Girtz and Baumgartner lost a third-set tiebreaker at No. 1 doubles.

The Panthers, who were the No. 3 seed, lost to Staples-Motley 4-3 during the regular season. Park Rapids ended the year with a 12-6 record in dual meets.

Staples-Motley, the No. 2 seed, defeated No. 1 Pequot Lakes 5-2 in Friday's championship match. The Cardinals, who will be competing at state for the seventh year in a row after winning the Section 6A title the last four years and winning the Section 8A title in 2005 and 2006, will carry a 18-3 record to state. Pequot Lakes eliminated No. 4 Crookston 4-3 in Friday's other semifinal match.

Staples-Motley 5, Park Rapids 2

No. 1 singles: Mikayla Wing, S-M, over Christina Smith 6-4, 6-3.

No. 2 singles: Julia Renner, PR, over Sarah Koopman 6-2, 6-2.

No. 3 singles: Clarissa Ponti, S-M, over Lydia Schaum 7-6, 6-3.

No. 4 singles: Heidi Schaum, PR, over Karlee Haglin 6-2, 2-6, 6-4.

No. 1 doubles: Maggie O'Keefe/Kelsey Zetah, S-M, over Allie Girtz/Bonnie Baumgartner 4-6, 7-5, 10-7.

No. 2 doubles: Brooke Wolhowe/Emily Israelson, S-M, over Katie Walsh/Lexi Burlingame 6-1, 6-2.

No. 3 doubles: Nikki Edin/Grace Wolhowe, S-M, over Taylor Wheeler/Charity Ridlon 6-2, 6-2.

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