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Winning ways continue; Bucs tennis 13-2

By Staff | Sep 24, 2017

Left to right: Arika Howard, Julia Hanson, and No. 4 first place singles finisher Téa Armstrong are all smiles after the Mankato West Invitational on Sept. 16.

Playing their last match at home on Sept. 21, the Blue Earth Area Bucs didn’t have much of a problem defeating New Ulm. Winning by a final score of 6-1, the Buccaneers’ winning streak has now reached nine straight.

In singles action, none of the Buccaneers lost a single set. Macie Stevermer won her match over New Ulm’s Emma Mandal, 6-2, 6-3 in her customary No. 1 position. Meanwhile, BEA’s Julia Hanson beat fellow senior Sara Guymon 6-1, 6-0 in the No. 2 slot.

Arika Howard and Ta Armstrong were particularly dominant as both Blue Earth Area phenoms won their singles matches 6-0, 6-0.

BEA head tennis coach Konny Wolff feels the sky is the limit for her two freshman standouts. In fact, Wolff believes either player has what it takes to eventually move up to the No. 1 position on the team.

“They are both very athletic and they play hard against a lot of juniors and seniors,” said Wolff. “It all comes down to who will put in the most time during the offseason.”

In doubles play, Malarie Scholtes and Carissa Engesser faced little resistance in their 6-1, 6-3 straight set win. As for McKenna Dutton and Britt Howard, BEA’s No. 2 doubles tandem won their match over New Ulm’s Breanna Widmen and Shelby Haseman, 6-3, 6-4.

BEA 4, St. Peter 3

Although the Blue Earth Area Bucs prevailed over the Saints of St. Peter this past Tuesday afternoon, it was certainly a fight to the finish. Enjoying a great season of their own, St. Peter had already accumulated 10 wins on the season heading into their showdown with Blue Earth Area.

In singles action, BEA’s Macie Stevermer and Julia Hanson lost in No. 1 and No. 2 singles respectively. However, Buccaneer youngsters Arika Howard and Ta Armstrong both won their singles matches at the No. 3 and No. 4 spots. In fact, Armstrong’s singles match win over St. Peter’s Amelia Hildebrandt broke the 3-3 tie which gave Blue Earth Area a hotly contested victory.

According to BEA head tennis coach Konny Wolff, Armstrong’s poise under pressure played a key role in the grueling and dramatic three set match. Armstrong eventually outlasted Hildebrandt 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.

“I went out there to talk to her when she was down in the match and she came back to win,” Wolff said. “Ta (Armstrong’s) ability to stay focused helps her win important matches.”

As for fellow Bucs freshman Howard, she defeated Saints junior Caitlin Salfer, 6-3, 7-6. Howard’s willpower and endurance were put to the ultimate test in the second set tie breaker.

Meanwhile, BEA took two out of the three matches in doubles play. Freshman No. 2 duo McKenna Dutton and Britt Howard represented the Bucs well as they earned a 6-4, 6-3 win. Sydney Blagg and Cali Beyer took care of business in No. 3 doubles with a 7-6, 6-2 win for Blue Earth.

Mankato West


The Blue Earth Area Bucs girls tennis team traveled to Mankato West High School on Saturday, Sept. 16. Of all the top notch players to take part in the tournament, it was BEA freshman standout Ta Armstrong who captured first place in No. 4 singles competition. Armstrong won in straight sets, 7-6, 6-1 in the final round of tournament play to secure the top finish in her bracket.

Meanwhile, fellow BEA freshman Arika Howard earned match wins of 6-0, 6-1, and 6-4, 6-2 in No. 3 singles competition to come away with a second place medal.

The tournament also featured Blue Earth Area’s Julia Hanson winning the consolation medal in No. 2 singles while the duo of Malarie Scholtes and Carissa Engesser represented the Bucs with a third place finish in No. 1 doubles competition.