Heading to State
Horns were honking on Blue Earth’s Main Street Monday night as the Blue Earth Area Buccaneer girls tennis team returned home from the Section 2A Team Tennis Tournament as Section champions.
Now they will head to the State Team Tennis Tournament on Oct. 21, at 8 a.m., in Minneapolis at the Reed-Sweatt Tennis Center. It has been nearly 20 years since BEA has been to the State Meet as a team.
The Bucs had to defeat their cross-county rivals, the Rebels of United South Central, in the championship match in order to gain the state berth. The No. 1 seeded Buccaneers won the match 5-2.
The hard-hitting Rebels were only seeded No. 6, but had already downed the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds (St. Peter and Le Sueur-Henderson) in order to get to the championship match with the Bucs.
BEA had defeated Maple River 6-1 in the quarter-finals of the Section Meet, then escaped with a hard-fought, close, 4-3 victory over Sibley East in the semi-finals.
Buccaneer coach Terry Barnes has had high hopes for his team all year. They entered the tournament with only one loss and with the top seed.
“But, there were six teams in the Section who were all in the hunt for the championship,” Barnes says. “There were some quality teams in our section this year.”
Here is a run-down of all three matches.
The Bucs and Rebels split the four singles matches, but BEA came through and swept all three doubles contests to take the 5-2 victory over USC and claim the Section 2A trophy.
The Rebels won both No. 1 and No. 2 singles match ups.
At No. 1 singles, two state-ranked players went head-to-head, with USC’s Kia Legred coming out on top of BEA’s Karleigh Wolff by a score of 6-1, 6-3.
The Rebels’ Linsey Thisius claimed a 6-2, 6-1 win over Buccaneer Kaitlyn Olsen at No. 2 singles.
But, from there on, it was all Blue Earth Area.
Anikka Wilhelmi took on Carly Weber at No. 3 singles and took a 6-4, 6-4 win.
After easily taking a 6-0 win in the first set at No. 4 singles, Gracie Leland had to survive a long 7-6, 10-8 second and third set to defeat USC’s Emma Barnd.
Buccaneers Natali Fellows and Karli Olsen teamed up at No. 1 doubles to take on Joyce Rubio and Angie Bixby and the BEA duo won 6-3, 6-1.
At No. 2 doubles, Beka Krussow and Paige Darrington took a 6-2, 6-1, victory over USC’s tandem of Wendy Martinez and Leah Meyer.
Lacey Benz and Annaliese Klinkner defeated Kelly Neubauer and Adriana Sofo, 6-4, 6-1, at No. 3 doubles to complete the Buccaneer 5-2 scoring.
The win put BEA’s season record at 19-1 and sent them on to State.
BEA 4, Sibley East 3
The Buccaneers closest match of the meet was the semi-final match up with Sibley East played last Monday morning in St. Peter at Gustavus Adolphus College, just hours before the championship match later that same day.
While the Bucs won all three doubles matches, Sibley East took three of the four singles contests. The match came down to the contest at the No. 1 singles position.
BEA’s Karleigh Wolff won the first set 6-3, but Sibley East’s Breann Walsch came back and claimed the second set with a close 7-5 win. Wolff took the third set 6-2 to win her match, and gain a win for the Bucs.
While BEA lost at both No. 2 and No. 3 singles match ups, both contests were very close.
Kaitlyn Olsen won her first set 6-4 over Ella Lundstrom at No. 2 singles, then lost the second set 7-6 and the third set 6-4.
At No. 3 singles, Anikka Wilhelmi lost her first set to Alli Harter, 6-2, but bounced back for a 6-4 win in the second set. The Buccaneer lost a hard-fought third set 7-5.
BEA’s Gracie Leland lost 6-3, 6-2 at No. 4 singles to Sibley East’s Faith Young.
But, it was all BEA in the doubles competition.
The Buccaneer duo of Natali Fellows and Karli Olsen downed Lindsey Flieth and Ashley Mercier 6-1, 6-3 at No. 1 doubles.
At No. 2 doubles, Beka Krussow and Paige Darrington teamed up to take on Karissa Sorenson and Liz Thies and won 6-2, 7-5.
BEA’s Lacey Benz and Annaliese Klinkner defeated Carolyn Anderson and Mandy Thomes at No. 3 doubles, 6-0, 6-2.
BEA 6, Maple River 1
The No. 1 seeded Buccaneers took care of business in the Section quarter-finals by defeating the Maple River Eagles 6-1 on Friday afternoon, Oct. 3, in St. Peter.
The match had originally been scheduled for Thursday evening, Oct. 1, in Blue Earth. However, weather conditions had forced the move to 1 p.m. the next day, Friday, at the indoor courts at Gustavus Adolphus College.
The change in venue mattered little to the Bucs, who had little trouble gaining the victory.
At No. 1 singles, BEA’s Karleigh Wolff defeated Hannah Proehl 6-1, 6-0. Kaitlyn Olsen had a similar score at No. 2 singles, downing Stephanie Beto 6-0, 6-1.
The Bucs’ only loss came at No. 3 singles, where Anikka Wilhelmi suffered a three-set defeat, 6-0, 3-6, 6-4, to Vanessa Barkosky.
At No. 4 singles, Gracie Leland easily downed Sarah Stromer, 6-1, 6-2.
The Bucs took all three doubles matches in just two sets each, as well.
Natali Fellows and Karli Olsen won their No. 1 doubles contest over Megan Langworthy and Rachal Rigdon by a 6-1, 6-2 score.
At No. 2 doubles, the Buc duo of Beka Krussow and Paige Darrington won 6-4, 6-3 over Emily Spear and Katelyn Langworthy.
And Lacey Benz and Annaliese Klinkner finished the opening round of the Section Meet with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Mariah Proehl and Hannah Evenson at No. 3 doubles.