Girls tennis awards announced
Team wraps up the year with academic and All-conference honors
Last week the Blue Earth Area girls tennis team ended thier season on a high note by winning the Section 3A tournament for the third time in four years.
This week the team was honored with the Gold Academic award. In addition, four girls, Téa Armstrong, Cali Beyer, Arika Howard and Britt Howard were honored for having a grade point average of or above 3.75.
“I am really proud of this team of girls,” BEA head coach Konny Wolff said. “They not only put the effort in on the court, they also do a good job in the classroom.”
The awards did not stop there. The Big South Conference released their All-conference selections and four individuals from the squad were named to the BSC All-conference team while two players received honorable mention.
Those named to the All-conference squad were Téa Armstrong, Marissa Benz, McKenna Dutton and Kylie Rosenau. The two players receiving honorable mention were Addison Armstrong and Arika Howard.
Téa Armstrong closed out her senior year with a 14-1 record. Her one loss came against St. James Area’s Ellie Becker in the BSC Championship. One week later she avenged that loss by defeating Becker in the Section 3A finals.
“She is just an all-around great player and a great student,” Wolff commented. “She went to State last year with Arika Howard in doubles. She does everything you ask of her.”
Benz, a junior, made the jump from No. 4 singles last year to No. 2 singles this year. She finished the year with a record of 12-3.
“Marissa may be the most improved player on the team,” Wolff noted. “She always gives 100 percent whether it is at practice or at a meet.”
Dutton and Rosenau were the Bucs’ No. 1 doubles team.
“I think their record was 13-2,” Wolff said. “They lost to St. Peter and St. James Area the first time we played those teams and then defeated them the second time around.”
The left-handed hitting Dutton is a senior while Rosenau is in her junior year.
“McKenna is such a positive role model for the younger girls. She was always encouraging them during practice,” Wolff shared. “On the court she was very aggressive and very good at the net.”
Rosenau was one of two juniors on the varsity team.
“Kylie is the quiet one. She leads by example,” Wolff comments. “She is a great baseline player. She has good form and never complains. She always did what was asked of her.”
The two players receiving honorable mention accolades have a lot in common.
Both Addison Armstrong and Arika Howard had perfect 15-0 records for the year. Armstrong started the year at No. 3 singles while Howard was at No. 4 singles. They switched positions during the year but both players kept on winning.
“Addison is another girl who has improved a great deal from last year. She made the move from No. 2 doubles to become a singles player and that is a big step,” Wolff notes. “She fights to the end and never gives up.”
Howard closed out her tennis career at BEA with an undefeated season.
“Arika has not lost many matches during the last three years,” Wolff said. “When I talked to her after she lost the first set in the Section finals she told me ‘I am not going to go out with a loss.’ And she came back and won. She is very determined.”
There are six seniors who will not be back next year. They are Téa Armstrong, Cali Beyer, Lyndsey Borris, Arika Howard, Britt Howard and McKenna Dutton.
“I will miss those girls,” Wolff remarked. “They have been great leaders on and off the court.”