Girls Tennis: Park Rapids qualifies doubles team for state tournament
Mickey Clark and Macy Goochey claim runner-up honors at the Section 8A tournament.
FARGO, N.D. – Mickey Clark and Macy Goochey knew their chance of qualifying for the state Class A girls tennis tournament hinged on a doubles showdown in the semifinals against Wadena-Deer Creek’s Katie Fiemeyer and Anna Fiemeyer.
The Fiemeyers defeated the Park Rapids duo 6-3, 6-0 in their only meeting during the regular season to earn the No. 2 seed for the Section 8A tournament, which was held at Fargo’s Courts Plus. Clark and Goochey entered as the No. 3 seed.
Coasting to straight-set wins in the first round and quarterfinals on Friday (Oct. 14) set up Park Rapids’ pivotal semifinal match on Saturday (Oct. 15). Goochey and Clark avenged that loss during the regular season and secured a trip to state with a hard-fought 7-5, 0-6, 7-6 (7-4) victory over the Fiemeyers to advance to the championship match.
Despite being denied the section title with a 6-2, 6-2 loss to top-seeded Halle Winjum and Emma Gunderson of Crookston, Clark and Goochey claimed the other state berth when the Fiemeyers defeated Roseau’s Jessie Danielson and Erin Brandt 6-1, 7-6 (7-5) in the third-place match. That result prevented the Park Rapids duo from having to play a true-second match.
Park Rapids’ senior duo opened section play with a 6-0, 6-0 win over No. 14 Kylie Kraska and Elizabeth Bitz of Long Prairie-Grey Eagle and followed with a 6-2, 6-2 win over No. 6 Kenzie Erickson and Elizabeth Digovanni of Staples-Motley in the quarterfinals. The win over the Fiemeyers locked a state berth for Goochey and Clark, who will carry a 20-5 record to their first state tournament.
Goochey and Clark will make their state debut at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 27, at the Reed-Sweatt Tennis Center in Minneapolis. The state tournament concludes on Friday, Oct. 28.
“Going into the season, I knew that they would have a chance to make it to state, but that the competition was going to be tough,” said Park Rapids head coach Brianne Morris. “Macy and Mickey have played some great matches and knew they could do it. They also knew that they had to play their best and stay strong mentally. They really wanted to go to state, so they just kept helping each other through each match. They played very solidly in their first two matches. The semifinals was a very tough match, both physically and mentally, which made the finals match tough against the team from Crookston.”
Park Rapids senior Morgan Koppelman just missed advancing to her first state tournament with a loss in a true-second singles match.
Koppelman, the No. 2 seed, used a first-round bye; a 6-7 (2-7), 6-1, 6-4 win over No. 7 Abigail Borowicz of Crookston in the quarterfinals; and a 6-3, 6-2 victory over No. 3 Libby Hartman of Wadena-Deer Creek in the semifinals to reach the championship match. Lauren Rutten of Staples-Motley backed up her No. 1 seed and the state’s No. 6 ranking by defeating Koppelman 6-1, 6-1 for the title. Koppelman had to play a true-second match when No. 4 Ronnie Noska of Staples-Motley defeated Hartman 6-2, 6-3 for third place. Noska claimed the other state berth with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Koppelman.
“Morgan played some amazing tennis all three days. We were all hoping that she would make it to state also,” said Morris. “She played a very mentally tough true-second match and came up a little short. She has been a fabulous leader the last few years and we are so proud of her play and how she handled herself on the court.”
Park Rapids’ other section entries were eliminated early.
Shailyn Hayes, the No. 9 seed, opened singles play with a 6-0, 6-0 victory over No. 8 Zoe Johnson of Long Prairie-Grey Eagle before dropping a 6-0, 6-0 decision to Rutten in the quarterfinals.
Emmy Goochey and Abby Runyan entered as the No. 10 seed in doubles and were eliminated with a 6-0, 2-6, 6-2 loss to No. 7 Halle Bruggemann and Kaylie Clauson of Crookston in the first round.
“I feel that Shailyn, Emmy and Abby also played some great tennis,” said Morris. “Shailyn won her first match playing very solid tennis. In her second match she played the No. 1 seed. Although she lost, she played well. Abby and Emmy played a fantastic three-set match against a good Crookston team. They worked hard and nearly pulled off the slight upset.”
Pirates oust Panthers
FARGO, N.D. – The third time wasn’t the charm for Park Rapids during the Section 8A team tournament on Thursday, Oct. 13.
After defeating Parkers Prairie for the third time this season, the Panthers lost to Crookston for the third time this season to end the season with a 9-13 record.
Park Rapids entered as the No. 3 seed and eliminated No. 6 Parkers Prairie 5-2 in the quarterfinals before falling to No. 2 Crookston 6-1 in the semifinals. The Panthers defeated Parkers Prairie 4-2 and 6-1 while dropping a pair of 5-2 decisions to Crookston during the regular season.
Crookston opened with a 7-0 win over No. 7 Long Prairie-Grey Eagle while No. 4 Wadena-Deer Creek eliminated No. 5 Roseau 7-0. No. 1 Staples-Motley defeated W-DC 6-1 in the semifinals and Crookston 4-3 in the championship match to advance to state. Staples-Motley was rated No. 8 and Crookston was rated No. 9 in the state Class A poll.
In the win over Parkers Prairie, Koppelman, Hayes and Ella Ehler posted straight-set wins in singles while Clark and Macy Goochey as well as Rachel Ulvin and Kate Dravis won in straight sets in doubles.
Macy Goochey and Clark won in straight sets at No. 1 doubles to account for the lone win against Crookston. Hayes lost a close match at No. 2 singles while Runyan and Emmy Goochey lost in three sets at No. 2 doubles.
“The team played great in both the quarterfinals and semifinals. The score against Crookston doesn't show how tough the girls played them,” said Morris. “We played some of the best tennis of the year. From where they were at the beginning to the last match has shown amazing growth.”