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Panthers receive No. 5 seed for section tennis tournament

As expected, the Park Rapids girls tennis team received the No. 5 seed for the Section 8A team tournament, which begins Tuesday morning at Fargo's Courts Plus.

Park Rapids, which had Tuesday's regular-season finale at Pequot Lakes rained out, finished the regular season with a 10-10 record in dual meets. The Panthers went 4-5 against section teams, defeating Parkers Prairie (6-1 and 5-2), Wadena-Deer Creek (6-1) and East Grand Forks (5-2) while dropping matches to Crookston (5-2 and 4-3), Staples-Motley (6-1), Perham (4-3) and Roseau (6-1).

The Panthers will play No. 4 Perham in a quarterfinal match at 9 a.m. The other quarterfinal matches pit No. 1 Roseau against No. 8 Parkers Prairie at 10:30, No. 3 Crookston against No. 6 East Grand Forks at noon, and No. 2 Staples-Motley against No. 7 Wadena-Deer Creek at 1:30. Roseau is rated No. 10 in the latest state Class A poll while Crookston is the defending section champion.

The semifinals will follow at 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. with the finals set for 9 Wednesday morning. The start of the individual tournament follows the championship match Wednesday and concludes on Thursday.

This year, the section coaches seeded the top six singles players and doubles teams with a blind draw filling out the rest of the brackets.

Park Rapids' Julia Smith received the No. 2 seed in singles and will play No. 15 Megan Arens of Parkers Prairie in the first round. Park Rapids' Abby Morris received the No. 13 seed and opens against No. 4 Jodi Ostroski of Roseau. Smith won the section singles title last season. Staples-Motley's Izabella Edin, who is rated No. 2 in the state, is the top seed in singles. Perham's Josie Beachy is the No. 3 seed.

In doubles, Park Rapids' Drew Hilmanowski and Natalie Kinkel received the No. 2 seed while Haley MacPherson and Tori Hilmanowski received the No. 12 seed. Drew Hilmanowski and Kinkel play No. 15 Delaney Aaker and Kayla Partlow of East Grand Forks in the first round while MacPherson and Tori Hilmanowski face No. 5 Abby Berquest and Kathryn Berquest of Parkers Prairie. Crookston's Ally Tiedemann and Amy Follette, the defending section champs, received the No. 1 seed in doubles. Roseau's Kate Wensloff and Lauren Johnson received the No. 3 seed while Jenna Dietrich and Emma Dietrich of East Grand Forks received the No. 4 seed.

The champion and runner-up in both singles and doubles advance to the state Class A tournament, which will be held at the Reed Sweatt Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis. The team tournament is Oct. 25-26 followed by the individual tournament Oct. 27-28.

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