The third-seeded Pequot Lakes Patriots tennis season ended with a 4-3 loss to the No. 2 Park Rapids Panthers in the Section 8A semifinals on Friday, Oct. 11, at Grand Forks, N.D.
Winning matches for the Patriots, who finish 15-5 overall, were Maggie Heggerston, who defeated Morgan Knott 6-0, 7-5 at No. 4 singles; Sydney Holt-Lauren Bengtson, who beat Lindsey Girtz-Sarena Kinkel 7-5, 6-2 at No. 2 doubles; and Alex Nelson-Madison Galligan, who edged Ali Walsh-Mariena Dearstyne 6-4, 6-2 at No. 3 doubles.
“We tried a different lineup since we had lost to Park Rapids twice earlier this season,” said Pequot Lakes coach Monica Sergent. “We felt it was a great line up, and the girls played extremely well. We just came up a little short.”
Sergent said her squad was looking forward to beating Park Rapids and reaching the final against Staples-Motley.
“We also had a special line up for Staples-Motley, so we were disappointed that we didn’t get the opportunity to face them,” she said. “The way our girls approached our playoff strategy was proof that they put our team ahead of their individual needs. I am proud of them.”
Park Rapids 4, Pequot Lakes 3
No. 1 - Christina Smith (PR) def. Haley Wiedbolt 6-2, 6-2; No. 2 - Julia Smith (PR) def. Jaden Lindner 6-1, 6-3; No. 3 - Hope Johnson def. Erika Monson 6-4, 6-2; No. 4 - Maggie Heggerston (PL) def. Morgan Knott 6-0, 7-5.
No. 1 - Julia Renner/Charity Ridlon (PR) def. Ellie Erholtz/Carly Fyle 6-2, 1-6, 6-2; No. 2 - Sydney Holt/Lauren Bengtson def. Lindsey Girtz/Sarena Kinkel 7-5, 6-2; No. 3 - Alex Nelson/Madison Galligan def. Ali Walsh/Mariena Dearstyne 6-4, 6-2
Section individual play
The Patriots were eliminated from section individual play on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 11-12, also in Grand Forks, N.D.
In the quarterfinal round of singles play, Beth Tangen of Roseau eliminated Sydney Holt of Pequot Lakes 6-1, 6-3 while Julia Smith of Park Rapids defeated Lauren Bengston of the Patriots 6-0, 6-0. Holt had defeated Emily Stezishar of Roseau 6-0, 6-0, and Bengston topped Paige Hartman of Wadena-Deer Creek 6-3, 6-3 in the opening round.
“Sydney (Holt) battled for every point right to the end,” coach Sergent said. “She showed great determination. Lauren knocked off Wadena-Deer Creek’s No. 1 singles player (Hartman) in her first match, and stayed in most points (against Smith) in the quarterfinals.”
In doubles play, Christina Smith-Julia Renner of Park Rapids defeated Jaden Lindner-Haley Wiebolt of Pequot Lakes in the semifinals. Lindner-Wiebolt had downed Emily Israelson-Grace Wolhowe of S-M in the quarterfinals. In the opening round, Lindner-Wiebolt defeated Emma Dietrich-Cynthia Loven of EGF while Amber Trostad-Liz Awender of Crookston beat Eleanor Erholtz-Carly Fyle of Pequot Lakes.
“Ellie (Erholtz) and Carly (Fyle) lost to a strong Crookston team,” Sergent said. “I think they were drained from their three-set battle with Park Rapids (earlier in the day in the team semifinals).
“Jaden (Lindner) and Haley (Wiebolt) had a big win over an undefeated Staples-Motley team (Israelson-Wolhowe) in the quarterfinals before losing to the eventual champions (Smith-Renner) in the semifinals to finish fourth.”
Mikayla Wing of Staples-Motley won the section singles title by defeating Julia Smith of Park Rapids 6-3, 6-2 in the championship match. Smith- Renner defeated S-M’s Kelsey Zetah-Nikki Edin 6-3, 6-3 for the doubles championship.
The top two individuals and top two doubles teams advanced to the state meet.