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BEA doubles team competes at State

By Staff | Nov 3, 2019

Arika Howard joined with fellow singles player Téa Armstrong to win the Section 3A doubles competition and qualify for the State Tournament.

The Blue Earth Area girls tennis team’s season came to an end on Friday morning, Oct. 25, when the doubles team of Ta Armstrong and Arika Howard lost their match in the consolation bracket.

The Buccaneer duo had lost their first match in the tournament on Thursday morning, Oct. 24, to the team from Thief River Falls.

That dropped them to the consolation bracket where they defeated the team from Virginia later Thursday afternoon.

The two Bucs then took on the doubles team from Rochester Lourdes in the semifinals of the consolation bracket at 8 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 25.

Armstrong and Howard lost 6-0, 6-1, to Rochester Lourdes’ Elyse Palen and Ryann Witter, ending the Buc duo’s State competition and bringing an end to the BEA tennis season.

Palen and Witter went on to win the consolation championship.

“Ta and Arika started off day one really slow and just couldn’t get going together,” Buccaneer tennis coach Konny Wolff said. “The second set they started to play together as a doubles team, but it was too late and not enough.”

The coach said it is hard playing singles all year and at the State Tennis Team Tournament, then having to adjust to doubles the next day at the State, without practice.

“They regrouped after the first loss and came back and played very well together in their second match and won,” Wolff said. “Which took them to day two. It was an early match against Rochester Lourdes and they didn’t play their best tennis.”

Plus, the Rochester duo had played together as a doubles team all year long. Despite being just an eighth grader and a freshman, the two are very good, Wolff said.

“The competition is tough (at State) and it gets to be a long week of tennis,” Coach Wolff said. “But the girls represented Blue Earth Area very well.”

The Buccaneer tennis mentor said that overall, the BEA girls had a great State Tournament, as a team and as their individual qualifiers.

“We were so close to winning the Consolation Championship,” she said. “It was tied at 3-3 and Marissa (Benz) was still out on the court and had split sets. It’s too bad it had to come down to a 10 point super tiebreaker for the championship match. She ended up losing 10-8, so we were so very close.”

But overall, the Buccaneers had a tremendous season and they are already looking forward to next year.