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Saints close door on successful 2020 season with an end of the season banquet

Sean Ellertson
St. James Plaindealer

The COVID-19 affected 2020 St. James girls tennis season was brought to a close on Monday night inside the St. James Event Center.

This year's group of girls went 13-1, with their only loss of the season coming against Blue Earth Area in the Section 3A Final at home.

2020 was the 20th consecutive year the Saints have advanced to the section final game, and 15 of those appearances led to wins and berths in the state tournament.

"This is a COVID-19 asterisk year, there's no doubt about it," said head coach Les Zellmann.

The season saw a 14-0 campaign from junior Jaelyn Haler, who was undefeated at second singles. In Haler's match against United South Central in the section semi-finals, she recorded her 80th career win.

At first singles, Ellie Becker rode a perfect record into the section final match before falling to Tea Armstrong.

In the week prior, Becker had knocked off Armstrong in three sets to clinch not only the Big South Conference title for the Saints, but also gave Becker her 100th career win.

Becker and Haler were named co-MVPs and also named to the Big South Conference West Division team. Joining the top two singles players as All-Conference players were Gabriela Trapero and Sailor Mohlenbrock.

The top doubles tandem earned a 13-1 record.

Earning Big South Honorable Mention honors were Mya Hanson at third singles, and the second doubles team of Allison Bluedorn and Samantha Tetzloff.

At third singles, Hanson finished 10-4. The freshman Bluedorn finished 11-3 on the season, Tetzloff missed the Saints final two matches, but still finished with a solid 9-3 record.

For their efforts on and off the courts, Tetzloff and Hanson were awarded All-State Academic Honors.

Looking ahead to 2021, St. James graduates its first and third singles players, as well as a player at each doubles team.

Haler will lock in at first singles, and following a 7-6 season at fourth doubles, Eva Romsdahl will also move up the ladder. 

Sailor Mohlenbrock and Allison Bluedorn are also poised to take steps forward, as should Emma Anderson. Anderson and Bluedorn each earned Most Improved Player awards.

Mariah Mireles and Mika Wessels saw limited varsity action and could plug up some of the holes left by the graduating senior class.

Haler and Mohlenbrock were named team captains for next year's club.

Spotlight on Scholarship: Ellie Becker, Mya Hanson, Sofia Solorzano, Samantha Tetzloff, Gabriela Trapero, Emma Anderson, Jaelyn Haler, Sailor Mohlenbrock, Jazzlyn Barrera, Kimberly Espinoza, Brooke Helling, Mariah Mireles, Eva Romsdahl, Mika Wessels, Lexia Sykes

Letterwinners: Allison Bluedorn, Mika Wessels, Maya Kulseth, Mariah Mireles, Adriana Vite, Eva Romsdahl, Emma Anderson, Sailor Mohlenbrock, Jaelyn Haler, Sofia Solorzano, Mya Hanson, Samantha Tetzloff, Gabriela Trapero, Ellie Becker, Abril Cervantes

Dedicated and Devoted: Ellie Becker, Sailor Mohlenbrock, Allison Bluedorn, Gabriela Trapero, Mykela Hanson, Keyana Haler, Jaelyn Haler, Mariah Mireles, Mya Hanson, Lily Ciske, Daniela Trapero, Maya Kulseth

Chris Everett "Heart" Award: Mya Hanson

Arthur Ashe Sportsmanship Award: Gabriela Trapero, Sam Tetzloff