Park girls tennis: Hastings too much for Wolfpack in 7-0 lossAs the season progresses, the Park girls tennis team transforms into a more competitive force in the conference than last year, but it has yet to take the next step and win a conference match.
By: Teresa Townsend, South Washington County Bulletin
As the season progresses, the Park girls tennis team transforms into a more competitive force in the conference than last year, but it has yet to take the next step and win a conference match.
“We didn’t have any competitive [conference] matches last year,” said coach Sean Kangrga, adding that this year, “they’re playing much better.”
Even so, Park girls fell to Hastings 7-0 for the match on Tuesday, Sept. 25. The girls were “competing hard,” and “not so much playing the score,” said Kangrga. By staying in the game mentally, first doubles team Savanna Sielben and Sarah Luman brought their match to a close finish.
“They looked like they believed they had a chance to win,” Kangrga said. Even though they were quickly down 4-1 in the first set, the team was able to get their focus back and win three more games in that set.
Their momentum carried them into a strong start for the second set, but they couldn’t hold onto the lead, ultimately losing 6-4, 6-4. “Hastings number one girls has a very nice team,” said Kangrga. “They definitely raised their game at the end of the second set.”
Third doubles team Malorie Briggs and Carolyn Lindstrom also played a close match, losing 7-5, 6-3. “They were playing some smart shots,” said Kangrga adding that there were many long points and games; “We had a lot of chances.”
Fourth singles player A.J. Hoidahl played a “good competitive match,” but also lost 6-4 6-2.
Intelligent play helped second singles player Nina Riesselman score a 6-4 6-4 win against White Bear on Thursday, but Park lost 6-1.
Although rain early in the day made a cancellation possible, the afternoon dried up but stayed windy. “She did a great job with how windy it was . . . She was moving her feet a lot . . . wasn’t playing flat-footed,” said Kangrga.
Malorie Briggs and Carolyn Lindstrom played a spirited match at second doubles, losing 10-7 in the super tiebreaker played for the third set. Kangrga noted that they played smart, competitive tennis, using a lot of lobs and playing long points, but were unable to convert those into a win.
As sections began on Tuesday, the team focused on solidifying technique in groundstrokes, lobs, serves and returns.