Roseau Girls' Tennis Competes in Section 8A Tournament
October 29, 2022
Submitted by Jeff Swanson
With a mid-October cold snap going on outside, it was lucky that the Section 8A tournament was back entirely indoors at Courts Plus in Fargo for 2022. In a repeat of the 2021 season, the Ram girls entered the playoffs as the #5 ranked team and opened play against the #4 seeded Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines.
The Thursday morning match didn’t go as the Roseau girls hoped. Although they were able to play with Wadena on every point, it seemed that the Wolverines always found that little extra to win important points and make an extra shot. The 2nd and 3rd doubles teams of Karli Wensloff/Marissa Glodowski and Lindsey Vistad/Bryn Wilson both took their matches into tiebreakers but couldn’t get a win. All the other positions played close points but ultimately ended up on the losing side as well. In the end, Roseau dropped their quarterfinal match by a 7-0 score. Wadena would go on to lose their semifinal match to Staples-Motley, the eventual Section 8A Team Champions.
Although the loss meant an end to the Roseau team’s season, six Rams continued in the Section 8A Individual Singles and Doubles tournaments, beginning on Friday afternoon. 14 singles players and 14 doubles teams opened match play looking to earn one of four spots in the Class A State Individual Tournament.
On the singles side, a pair of Rams got their first taste of the individual singles tournament. Emma Johnson, the #11 seed, played very well and gave Brekken Tull, the #6 seed from Crookston, all she could handle in their opening set. After managing a tiebreaker win in that first set, Tull seemed to find another gear and was able to oust Emma from the tournament by a 7-6 (3), 6-0 score. Lindsey Vistad, a 10th grader and Roseau’s youngest individual entrant, had the #13 seed and was matched up with #4 seed Ronnie Noska from Staples-Motley. Lindsey did a great job of hanging with the very hard hit balls from Noska, but lost her match 0-6, 2-6 to drop out of the tournament. Noska continued to blast groundstrokes throughout the tournament to earn a berth in the State Tournament as the runner-up.
In the doubles tournament, Karli Wensloff and Marissa Glodowski had the #11 seed and were in a spot where an upset was possible, facing #6 seeds Amy Digiovanni and Kenzie Erickson from Staples-Motley. Things just didn’t seem to quite come together for the girls during their match as they lost by a 3-6, 2-6 score.
Roseau’s other doubles team, Jessie Danielson and Erin Brandt, the #5-ranked team in the tournament, had the highest seed of any Rams entry and also had the most success on the court. The girls used their high seed to roll through their first match, a 6-1, 6-0 victory over #12 seeded Ruby Muellner and Kaeden Beach from Long Prairie-Grey Eagle. Reaching the quarterfinals, the girls started slowly against #4 seeds Georgia Kruchten and Amy Rollins from Staples-Motley. After losing the first set, Jessie and Erin re-focused on their strategy of attacking the net and completely turned the tables in the final two sets of the match. It was great doubles play to watch, and many fans from multiple teams commented on how well the girls played in their 1-6, 6-0, 6-1 win.
Erin and Jessie’s wins on Friday advanced them into Saturday’s semifinal round. They ran into a difficult opponent in the semis, Crookston’s #1 seeded Halle Winjum and Emma Gunderson. The Roseau girls had a difficult time getting to the net against the excellent groundstrokes from Crookston, which put them at a disadvantage and led to a 2-6, 2-6 loss. Crookston would go on to win the Section 8A Doubles championship. With the loss, Jessie and Erin next played Katie and Anna Fiemeyer from Wadena-Deer
Creek for 3rd place. After again starting a little slowly, Erin and Jessie adjusted their strategy in the second set and had a number of chances to get the win. Unfortunately, they ended up losing the second set in a tiebreaker which also meant the loss of the match by a 1-6, 6-7 (5) score. The girls earned 4th place medals and, while disappointed in not finishing higher, were proud of how well they played.
Playing well in the individual tournament was a great way for the Rams to wrap up their 2022 season. The girls hope that next season will bring them even more success.