The BPHS girls tennis team dropped a pair of matches to Minnesota River Conference contenders last week, dropping a home match 6-1 to Sibley East on Thursday, Sept. 3, and falling to LeSueur-Henderson by the same score last Tuesday, Sept. 1, in Belle Plaine.
The Wolverines and Giants are both atop the MRC standings at the early mark of the season. The Tigers fell to 1-3 and will welcome Maple River for an MRC affair on Tuesday, Sept. 8 (result unavailable at press time) and Holy Family for a non-conference match on Thursday, Sept. 10.
The Tigers return to MRC action on Tuesday, Sept. 15, when they face TCU on the Le Center tennis courts starting at 4:15 p.m.
Despite the setbacks, head coach Melissa Hanson felt good about her team’s early season matches.
Hanson moved Kadence Bran De Leon from the first singles spot and paired her with senior Lauren Johnson at No. 1 doubles. The duo responded with a three-set victory against LeSueur-Henderson after dropping the opening set 6-1 and then won in straight sets against Sibley East.
The Tigers had opportunities in two other doubles matches with Sibley East. Courtney Eppen and Amilia Messer fell 7-6, 7-6, and Elissa Moonen and Elliana Fahey dropped their opening set at No. 3 doubles, 6-0, then took the second set 6-2 before falling in a third-set tiebreaker.
“Our doubles really have a lot of potential and I look for them to progress throughout the season,” Hanson said.
Hanson said it took awhile for the squad to get used to playing in the wind against Sibley East, something it hadn’t encountered yet this season. “Once we got going, we played really close matches.”
The Tigers fell 7-0 to LS-H on Aug. 25, and while the result didn’t change, Hanson was again impressed with how the Tigers went stroke for stroke with one of the MRC’s most consistent programs.
“I was impressed how we have played LSH both times this year,” Hanson said. “They are always a very good team and with several 8th and 9th graders on my roster, I was unsure of how we would match up coming into the season.”
Bran de Leon and Johnson won at No. 1 doubles, and Eppen/Messer and Moonen/Fahey took their matches to three sets.
Eighth-grader Lydia Sparby fell at No. 2 singles to Chloe Brandt (7-5, 6-4). Sparby had three set points to put away the first set but couldn’t capitalize on some key shots. Sparby fell behind 1-4 in the second set before winning two straight games.
“One thing that impresses me about Lydia is that she is so mentally tough for an eighth-grader,” Hanson said. “She doesn’t get down on herself and she always thinks she can turn things around.”
Tuesday, Sept. 1 at BP
LS-H 6, Belle Plaine 1
No. 1 - Nesbit (LS-H) def. Emma Driehorst (BP) 0-6, 1-6
No. 2 - Brandt (LS-H) def. Lydia Sparby (BP) 7-5, 6-4
No. 3 - Jones (LS-H) def. Joelea Koepp (BP) 6-1, 6-0
No. 4 - Reinhardt (LS-H) def. Kamryn Stier (BP) 6-1, 6-0
No. 1 - Kadence Bran de Leon/ Lauren Johnson (BP) def. Seaver/Dunning (LS-H) 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3)
No. 2 – Pavlo/Schwarz (LS-H) def. Courtney Eppen/Amilia Messer (BP) 2-6, 6-3, 6-2
No. 3 – Nesbit/Hardel (LS-H) def. Elissa Moonen/Elliana Fahey (BP) 5-7, 6-4, 6-3
Thursday, Sept. 3 at BP
Sibley East 6, Belle Plaine 1
No. 1 – Wibstad (SE) def. Emma Driehorst (BP) 6-4, 6-2
No. 2 – Widmer (SE) def. Lydia Sparby (BP) 6-0, 6-4
No. 3 – Sylvester (SE) def. Joelea Koepp (BP) 6-0, 6-0
No. 4 – Dieball (SE) def. Kayla Streich (BP) 4-6, 6-1, 6-0
No. 1 - Lauren Johnson/ Kadence Bran de Leon (BP) def. Otto/Wildmer (SE) 7-6 (4), 6-1
No. 2 – Bullert/Reyes (SE) def. Courtney Eppen/Amilia Messer, (BP) 7-6 (2), 7-6 (2)
No. 3 – Bednarek/Thoele (SE) def. Elissa Moonen/Elliana Fahey (BP) 6-0, 2-6, 7-6 (2)
2020 BPHS Girls Tennis Results and Schedule
L Aug. 25 – LSH 7, BP 0
W Aug. 27 – BP 5, Tri-City United 2
L Sept. 1 - Le Sueur-Henderson 6, BP 1
L Sept. 3 - Sibley East 6, BP 1
Sept. 8 - 4:15 p.m. vs. Maple River (results unavailable at press time)
Sept. 10 - 4:30 p.m. vs. Holy Family Catholic
Sept. 15 - 4:15 p.m. @ Tri-City United - Le Center Elementary
Sept. 17 - 4:15 p.m. vs. Southwest Christian
Sept. 21 - 4:30 p.m. vs. Jordan
Sept. 22 - 4:15 p.m. @ Sibley East High School.
Sept. 29 - 4:15 p.m. @ United South Central in Wells
Oct. 1 - 4:30 p.m. vs. United South Central