by Scott DCamp
Thief River Falls is adding a pair of individual entries to its team entry in the 2019 MSHSL Girls State Tennis Tournament. On Thursday, Oct. 17, Thief River Falls seniors Khloe Lund and Bela Nelson won the Section 8A doubles championship, while junior Emmma Fagerstrom advanced to state as the singles runner-up.
“I think it just proves to our program as a whole we are developing both solid singles and doubles players,” said Head Coach Fabian Tunberg. “I’m hoping we have a lot of young tennis players noticing the success these three girls are having. The reason being is because all three of these young ladies going to state individually are incredible leaders and are captains on this team. Hard work pays off and the right players will find success.”
Lund and Nelson won the Section 8A Doubles Tournament with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Crookston’s Catherine Tiedemann and Emma Borowicz in the championship match.
Lund and Nelson were the top seeds in the doubles competition, and they advanced to the championship with wins over Nevada Schulz/Katie Fiemeyer of Wadena-Deer Creek, Mirta Vorderbruggen/Malia Groff of Perham/New York Mills during the first two rounds on Wednesday, Oct. 16, and Delaney Aaker/Katelyn Farder of East Grand Forks in the semifinal round Thursday, Oct. 17.
Fagerstrom, the number two seed in the singles competiton, opened the tournament with wins over Eilzabeth Vogt of Parkers Prairie and Avery Beachy of Perham/New York Mills on Wednesday. Fagerstrom overcame a one-set deficit to defeat Maggie Dietrich in three sets, in Thursday morning’s semifinal round. Playing Perham/New York Mills’ Jade Lenins in the championship match, Fagerstrom again dropped the opening set by a 6-1 margin. She rallied for a 7-5 win in set two and the two traded games in the third set, which was eventually won by Lenins in a tiebreaker.
Also competing the individual portion of the Section 8A Tournament were singles competitor Ava Yuska, and the doubles team of Brooklyn Broadwell and Brea Prickett. Yuska defeated Avery Breachy of Perham/New York Mills to open the tournament, before being ousted Wednesday afternoon by Abby Morris of Park Rapids. Broadwell and Prickett opened section play with a win over Aleah Oshie/Kate Johnson of East Grand Forks, before they were eliminated with a loss to Borowicz and Tiedemann of Crookston.
Section 8A Individual
Singles First round – No. 1 – Emma Fagerstrom, TRF def. Eilzabeth Vogt, Parkers Prairie, 6-0, 6-0; No. 1 – Ava Yuska, TRF def. Avery Beachy, Perham/New York Mills (GIRLS), 6-1, 6-0. Second round – No. 1 – Emma Fagerstrom, TRF def. Ana Marquardt, Parkers Prairie, 6-0, 6-2; No. 1 – Abby Morris, Park Rapids Area def. Ava Yuska, TRF, 7-6 (5), 6-2. Semifinals – No. 1 – Emma Fagerstrom, TRF def. Maggie Dietrich, EGF HIGH, 1-6, 6-4, 6-2, Championship – No. 1 – Jade Lenins, PERHAM SENIOR HIGH def. Emma Fagerstrom, TRF, 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (5).
Doubles First round – No. 1 – Khloe Lund – Isabela Nelson, TRF def. Nevada Schulz – Katie Fiemeyer, Wadena-Deer Creek, 6-0, 6-0; No. 1 – Brooklyn Broadwell – Brea Prickett, TRF def. Aleah Oshie – Kate Johnson, EGF HIGH, 6-3, 6-2. Second round – No. 1 – Khloe Lund – Isabela Nelson, TRF def. Mirta Vorderbruggen – Malia Groff, Perham/New York Mills (GIRLS), 6-1, 6-0. No. 1 – Emma Borowicz – Catherine Tiedemann, Crookston def. Brooklyn Broadwell – Brea Prickett, TRF, 6-4, 6-0. Semifinals – No. 1 – Khloe Lund – Isabela Nelson, TRF def. Delaney Aaker – Katelyn Farder, EGF, 6-3, 6-1. Championship – No. 1 – Khloe Lund – Isabela Nelson, TRF def. Catherine Tiedemann – Emma Borowicz, Crookston, 6-2, 7-5.
The Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis will be the site of all four days of the Class A Girls State Tennis Tournament. Team competition will take place on October 22 and 23 followed by the individual tournament on October 24 and 25. Team quarterfinal pairings are: New London-Spicer vs. Pequot Lakes (8 a.m.); Rochester Lourdes vs. Blue Earth Area (10 a.m.); The Blake School of Minneapolis vs. Thief River Falls (Noon); Litchfield vs. Minnewaska Area of Glenwood (2 p.m.).
The Blake School returns in search of a fifth consecutive championship. If the Bears win, it would be their 13th title overall. Two other teams return from the 2018 field: Litchfield earned runner-up honors and Rochester Lourdes was third.
Defending singles champion, senior Arlina Shen of The Blake School, is this year’s top seed. She will face tough competition from senior Clare Palen of Rochester Lourdes, the number two seed. Palen won the doubles crown with Natalie Allison the past two years. Junior Sonia Baig of The Blake School, ninth-grader Lydia Delich of Eveleth-Gilbert Area, and sophomore Megan Muller of Pequot Lakes are seeded third through fifth this year, respectively. Baig and Delich finished third and fourth in doubles, respectively, in 2018.
The only other Top 6 finisher to return is junior Ally Agerland of Holy Family Catholic of Victoria. She placed sixth last year. This year’s top-seeded doubles team is sophomore Bella Suk and ninth-grader Allyson Jay of The Blake School. Suk placed third in doubles last year and Jay finished third in the singles tournament.
The No. 2 team is made up of juniors Avery Stilwell and Elise Bierbaum of Litchfield. Stilwell was the runner-up in doubles and Bierbaum was fourth in singles in 2018. The remaining seeded teams are: seniors Emily Melin and Caroline Cameron of The Blake School (number three); seniors Anna Seitz and Ava Warren of Virginia (number four); and senior Danielle Thorfinnson and sophomore Alissa Thorfinnson of Minnewaska Area (number five).
Melin and Cameron took consolation honors in 2018 and Danielle Thorfinnson was the consolation champion in the singles tournament. Ava Wallerich, a senior from Lake City, is the only other returning top-six finisher in doubles. She placed sixth last year and will compete with senior Emma Brunkow this year.