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Kading, Carlson take positive step in second state trip

Mary Kading and Alyssa Carlson were hoping to end the season by winning at least one match at the state Class A girls tennis tournament.

The Park Rapids duo had to settle with winning one set.

Kading and Carlson, who advanced to the state tournament as the Section 8A runner-up in doubles, opened state play against Minnewaska seniors Sarah Faehnrich and Laura Paulson Thursday morning at the Reed Sweatt Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis. Faehnrich and Paulson advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-3 victory.

In the first round of consolation play Thursday afternoon, Kading and Carlson played Litchfield senior Lizzie Johnson and junior Ellie Black. The Park Rapids pair rallied from a 4-1 deficit to win the first set before being eliminated with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 setback.

Mounds Park Academy's Kate Roach and Amber Washington defended their doubles title.

"The girls played very well. They were competitive and played two close matches," said Park Rapids head coach Nicole Brandt. "They played a great second match. I feel that they were very evenly matched with the Litchfield doubles team."

Kading and Carlson concluded the season with a 20-6 record as doubles partners. That duo joined Megan Luther as the only players in Park Rapids girls tennis history to qualify for state in doubles twice. Kading qualified for state with Mindy Lawrence while Carlson qualified with Alyssa Klingenberg last season. Luther qualified with Anna Pederson in 1999 and became the first doubles team to win a match at state and teamed with Abbie McMorrow in 2001.

The other Park Rapids state qualifiers in doubles were Tanya Peterson and Jennifer Pederson in 1991 and Lindsey Czeczok and Amy Luther in 2005.

Of Park Rapids' seven state qualifying doubles teams, only four have won a set at state. Peterson and Pederson lost in three sets in their only match in 1991. Megan Luther and Pederson won their first match in three sets before being defeated in straight sets in the quarterfinals. Megan Luther and McMorrow lost in straight sets in their only match in 2001. Czeczok and Amy Luther lost both of their matches in three sets in 2005. Both Park Rapids doubles teams lost both matches in straight sets last season.

while Staples-Motley's Skye Coughlin and Emma Koskiniemi finished third during Friday's finals.

Section 8A had another strong showing at the state meet. Crookston's Sarah Derosier and Hayley Myrold ended up winning the consolation title in doubles while East Grand Forks' Jessamy Jones defeated Roseau's Abby Ness for the consolation title in singles.

"It was nice to see how well Section 8A did," said Brandt. "I always knew that we had a good section and I think that we proved that at the state tournament."