The SJA Saints girls tennis team started out the season ranked No. 4 in the state's Class A poll and opened the season by taking a step up to compete against three bigger Class AA schools in a quadrangular at Mankato West last Friday.
The Saints started the year out with a winning record by going 2-1. The girls beat Mankato West 4-3, Marshall 7-0 and lost to a good Orono team 1-6.
The match against Mankato West was decided in favor of the Saints when senior Taylor Nordhausen won at four singles in three sets.
Taylor lost the first set 0-6, she trailed 0-3 in the second set before she came back to win the second set 7-6 and won the tiebreaker third set 10-5.
When Taylor finished the match, Head Coach Les Zellmann congratulated her for winning the team's fourth and winning team match.
Coach Zellmann said, "Taylor Nordhausen made a great comeback from an 0-3 2nd set to come back to win in a third set tiebreak."
The other wins for the Saints against West were Lorena Hernandez at number one singles. Lorena won 6-1, 6-0. "Lorena played an outstanding singles match to win against a very good Mankato West player," Zellmann said.
Aubrey Eckstrom won in straight sets at number three singles 7-5, 6-2.
The number one doubles team of Acacia Foss and Ashley Frederickson won 6-4, 6-2.
It was a clean sweep for the Saints against Marshall. All of the girls won by large margins. Lorena Hernandez lost one game, which was the only game lost in the four singles matches. Lorena won 6-1, 6-0. Julia Boeve at number two, Aubrey Eckstrom at number three and Allison Durheim at number four all won in straight sets 6-0, 6-0.
The one and two doubles teams also won 6-0, 6-0. Foss and Frederickson were at one and Anna Haler and Hannah Christensen played two doubles for the Saints. Morgan Sandmeyer and Alejandro Trapero won at three doubles 6-1, 6-3.
Orono proved to be a big school the Saints couldn't get past, losing 1-6, but most of the losing matches were competitive.
Acacia and Ashley at number one doubles won the only match for the Saints beating their opponents in straight sets 6-4, 6-1. Coach Zellmann summed up this team's first day of play, "Our first doubles team - Ashley Frederickson and Acacia Foss displayed some very good net play to win three matches in a row."
In singles Lorena lost at one 0-6, 2-6; Julia lost at two 5-7, 3-6; Aubrey lost at three 4-6, 2-6 and Taylor lost at four in three sets. This time she won the first set 6-4, but lost the last two 6-7, 5-10.
Two doubles of Anna and Hannah lost 4-6, 4-6 and the three doubles of Morgan and Alejandra lost 3-6, 4-6.
Page 2 of 2 - Coach Zellmann said, "It was a very good opener for our girls. All varsity and JV players had good competitive play.
"The varsity had good challenging matches with Orono and Mankato West. A very good experience for our team to play some very good size AA schools. We saw a lot of good things. Good serving overall as a team."