Defeating the state’s No. 5-rated Class A team capped off a perfect week for the Park Rapids girls tennis team.
The Panthers avenged a 5-2 loss to Crookston earlier this season with a 4-3 win and followed with a 7-0 victory over Roseau at Crookston on Saturday, Oct. 2. Those two wins gave the Panthers a 7-1 record against Section 8A opponents, a 14-4 overall record and a nine-match winning streak, which included seven wins in six days.
In the first meeting against Crookston, the Pirates prevailed by winning matches at No. 1 singles, No. 2 singles, No. 4 singles, No. 2 doubles and No. 3 doubles.
In the rematch, the Panthers avenged losses at No. 1 singles, No. 4 singles and No. 2 doubles to defeat one of the state’s top teams.
Abby Morris prevailed in a third-set tiebreaker for a 6-4, 0-6, 10-5 victory at No. 1 singles, Shailyn Hayes won 6-0, 6-3 at No. 4 singles, and Natalie Harvey and Emily Schulz also survived a third-set tiebreaker in a 6-4, 1-6, 10-8 win at No. 2 doubles to spark the Panthers to the win.
Morgan Koppelman won in straight sets (6-2, 6-2) at No. 3 singles to complete the win as Crookston fell to 15-3 on the season.
The Panthers shut out Roseau for the third time this season with seven wins in straight sets.
Rachael Herman (6-1, 6-2 at No. 1), Mickey Clark (6-4, 6-2 at No. 2), Harvey (6-1, 6-0 at No. 3) and Abby Runyan (6-3, 6-0 at No. 4) swept the singles matches. Morris and Macy Goochey (6-0, 6-1 at No. 1), Schulz and Koppelman (6-1, 6-1 at No. 2), and Hayes and Emmy Goochey (6-1, 6-1 at No. 3) combined to drop only five games in sweeping the doubles matches.
Park Rapids hosts Staples-Motley in the regular-season finale on Tuesday (Oct. 5). The winner of that match will most likely be the No. 1 seed for the Section 8A tournament and will receive a first-round bye. The Section 8A team tournament begins Thursday (Oct. 7) with the high seeds hosting matches. The semifinals and championship matches will be played at Fargo’s Courts Plus on Oct. 12.
The individual portion of the Section 8A tournament will also be held at Courts Plus with the first round and quarterfinals on Oct. 13 and the semifinals and championship matches on Oct. 19.