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State hopes end for BEA

By Staff | Oct 29, 2017

Although their season ended with two losses during state tournament competition, the 2017 Blue Earth Area girls tennis team can hold their heads high. The very young squad exceeded all expectations with a remarkable campaign, and defeated perennial powerhouse St. James in sectional play to qualify for state. BEA head coach Konny Wolff was recognized for her terrific mentorship as she was awarded coach of the year honors by the Minnesota Coaches Association.

After a stunning 17-2 regular season, the Blue Earth Area girls tennis squad traveled to Minneapolis for a well earned opportunity to compete for a state championship. Unfortunately for the girls, they could not capture a team victory during their visit to the Twin Cities.

On Oct. 24, the girls from Blue Earth Area were defeated 6-1 by Osakis at the Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center. Playing in her customary No. 4 singles position, Ta Armstrong was the only Buc representative who notched a win in the match as she came away with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Alexa Lien.

BEA’s No. 1 singles player Macie Stevermer lost to Tia Dykema of Osakis, 6-2, 6-3. No. 2 Bucs singles player Julia Hanson lost her duel with Shea Olson, 6-1, 6-4. Meanwhile, Blue Earth Area’s Arika Howard was defeated by Lauren Scherr, 6-4, 6-4 from the No. 3 singles position.

In doubles action, the Bucs’ duo of Malarie Scholtes and Carissa Engesser were beaten by Kali Giesler and Karlee Hoffarth, 6-1, 6-0 in the No. 1 slot. Blue Earth Area’s No. 2 duo of McKenna Dutton and Britt Howard were unable to get past Camryn Hoffarth and Kiara Henesley, 6-2, 7-6 (3).

Also, Blue Earth Area tandem Cali Beyer and Sydney Blagg fell to Dinara Dykema and Mara VanNyhuis, 6-4, 6-3 in the No. 3 doubles position.

In the consolation bracket that same day, the maroon and gold again fell short as they were bested by Virginia, 5-2. Once again, Ta Armstrong was the only BEA singles player to register a match win. The freshman took care of business against Katie Scherf, 6-1, 6-1 from the No. 4 spot.

Blue Earth Area’s No. 1 doubles team of Malarie Scholtes and Carissa Engesser also came out on top with a 7-5, 6-3 match win over Mia Cope Robinson and Chloe Gerlach of Virginia.

Other scores from the match included Macie Stevermer’s loss to Anna Seitz, 6-0, 6-3. Julia Hanson was defeated by Ava Warren, 6-3, 6-2, and Arika Howard was downed by Mary Skorich, 6-1, 6-1.

In doubles competition, McKenna Dutton and Britt Howard were dispatched by Virginia’s duo of Jacie Smith and Anneka Lundgren, 6-2, 6-3. Also, Cali Beyer and Sydney Blagg could not overcome Jayda Westerbur and Bekah Davidson, 6-4, 7-5.

Despite the two losses at state, the Blue Earth Area tennis team capped off an incredible turnaround in 2017. Their 17-2 regular season record this year is all the more impressive considering they finished the 2016 campaign with a mark of 6-9.

Because of the team’s outstanding achievements in 2017, BEA head coach Konny Wolff was recently named the Minnesota Coaches Association Section 3A coach of the year. Wolff feels this young group of mostly underclassmen are just starting to scratch the surface.

“It’s a big boost for the program because it means more eyes will be on us and people will come out in big numbers next year,” It has definitely been a Cinderella story for sure.