Saints take 5th place in team competition
SJA Saints 7, Osakis 0
After having lost to Rochester Lourdes in the opening round of the Tourney, the Saints went into the consolation bracket. SJA defeated Virgina in the opening consolation match 5-2.
Then the Saints came back to claim the consolation championship, 5th place, at the Class A 2012 Minnesota Girls State Tennis Championships by beating Osakis. The scores of the individual matches were as follows:
Singles: 1. Aryn Eckstrom, SJA, def. Taylor Kraemer, O, 6-1, 6-0. 2. Lorena Hernandez, SJA, def. Lauren Silbernick, O, 6-0, 6-2. 3. Julia Boeve, SJA, def. Hannah Baker, O, 6-3, 6-4. 4. Aubrey Eckstrom, SJA, def. Alexa Hoffarth, O, 6-0, 6-1.
Doubles: 1. Michaela Nordby and Acacia Foss, SJA, def. Angela Bowman and Kathryn Anderson, O, 6-1, 7-5. 2. Megan Lahti and Michaela Nelson, SJA, def. Katelyn Foster and Elyse Wiener, O, 4-6, 6-1, 10-5. 3. Cassidy Chapek and Morgan Rankin, SJA, def. Ashley Kraemer and Hannah Szech, O, 6-4, 4-6, 10-7.
Coach Les Zellmann summed up the Saints team effort, “After the challenging loss to Rochester Lourdes, the girls came back strong to win two matches in a row for the consolation champion place.
“We were very pleased with our state tournament experience. Every team is good and the margin of difference with most state teams is not great. It was great to have the team win all seven individual matches in the final team match of the season.”
Singles and Doubles State Tourney Results
Senior Aryn Eckstrom played well during the singles competition of the State Tournament.
Aryn dropped her opening round of the singles competition to Kaytlin Kuefler of Annandale in straight sets by scores of 6-4, 6-4.
She then fell into the consolation bracket where she won three times in straight sets to claim the consolation award or fifth place.
Aryn advanced beating a Lake City player 6-1, 6-1. She then beat an Eveleth-Gilbert player and won 6-2, 6-2.
Aryn then closed out her Saints career by winning the consolation award when she defeated Eva Sullivan of Providence Academy by a score of 6-2, 6-0.
The Saints doubles teams both lost in the first round, both won in the first consolation match, but both teams lost in the second consolation round.
The Saints number one doubles team of senior Michaela Nordby and junior Acacia Foss lost their opening match to a team from Parkers Prairie in three sets.
Page 2 of 2 - In their first consolation match, Saints Nordby and Foss beat a Lake City team in three sets by dropping the first set 4-6. The SJA girls came back to win the next two sets 6-1, 10-6.
Michaela and Acacia were eliminated in the next round by a team from St. Cloud Cathedral. The Saints lost in straight sets 6-2, 6-2.
The doubles team of Megan Lahti and Michaela Nelson lost their opening round to a team from Glenco-Silver Lake in straight sets 6-3, 6-2.
Megan and Michaela won their first consolation match against a team from Minnewaska Area in straight sets by scores of 6-2, 6-4. They then lost to a team from Jordan in straight sets 6-2, 6-4.
Zellmann said, “In the individual tournament, we had a good showing. All our players made it to the 2nd day.
“Aryn Eckstrom won the consolation final by playing near flawless tennis against Eva Sullivan, a ranked player from Providence Academy.”
SJA took a senior dominated team to the tournament. The team consolation match was comprised of six seniors of the ten players.
Looking toward next year, the good news is three of the four singles players are returning underclassmen.
Only one doubles player from that final team that took the court in Minneapolis, Acacia Foss, is returning. Several other underclass played for the Saints this year. In large part, it will be up to them, to see if next year becomes a rebuilding year for the Saints or if it is another year where the SJA girls tennis team reloads.