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Girls tennis: WHS enjoys solid season opener

SLEEPY EYE — As season-openers go, it could hardly have gone better Tuesday for the Worthington Trojans girls tennis team.

The Trojans got involved in several three-set matches, including some sets that went to tiebreakers, and defeated the host River Valley Wildcats 5-2.

“Outstanding start,” said WHS head coach Mike Marquardt. “Three matches that went to a third set, and we had three 7-6 sets. And it doesn’t get any better than that.”

Worthington split the four singles matches and won all three of the doubles competitions.

At first singles, the Trojans’ Emily Williamson defeated Kalin Haas 6-3, 5-7, 6-1. At second singles, Rachel Drietz beat Lauren Laffen 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.

River Valley (a combination of Sleepy Eye and Springfield) won at third singles and fourth singles. At third singles, Natalie Stevens topped Laura Wetering 6-4, 7-6 (7-4 tiebreaker), and at fourth singles, Kacie Goblirsch bested Alicia Khatt 6-2, 6-1.

Worthington’s first doubles duo of Annie Lesnar and Brianna Kempema defeated River Valley’s Erika Ries and Alyssa Rubey 6-2, 7-5. The second doubles team of Sarah Janssen and Miranda LeBrun beat RV’s Carissa Evers and Ashley Johnson 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.

And Worthington’s third doubles team of Makensie Carstenson and Erika Schutte topped Taylor Hoffman and Sara Haugo 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-4).

Several Worthington junior varsity pairs took to the courts Tuesday. Shelby Larson and Coral Owens lost by 6-4 and 7-5 scores. Paige Stewart and Kristy Workman won a match 6-5 and lost another 0-6. Anna Kill and Tatyana Clark lost 6-1. Kill and Kelly Newman teamed up in another match to win 6-4. Quinn Bents and Whitney Donkersloot lost 6-0 and 6-1. Becca Christensen and Maer Koyo lost 6-1. And Kaitlyn Brunk and Makayla Ebbers lost 6-5.

Tuesday’s matches went late into the night and, according to Marquardt, didn’t make everyone happy. Shortly before 10 p.m. before leaving town, he said, he brought 23 high school girls tennis players into a McDonald’s restaurant just before closing time.

On Tuesday, that was the price somebody had to pay for the Trojans’ success.