The Milbank Area Lady Bulldog tennis team wrapped up its regular season and will compete at the state tennis tournament in Sioux Falls and Brandon Valley Thursday through Saturday, October 8-10.
Milbank Area will send seven players to the tournament. Senior Cara Berkner finished the season with a 4-13 overall record and a 3-11 record against South Dakota opponents. She will play the number one singles and doubles position. Junior Tatiana Stemsrud is 7-12 overall and 5-11 in SD and will compete at the number two singles and number one doubles spot. Junior Paige Johnson notched an 11-8 overall record and is 9-7 in SD. She will face opponents at number three singles and number two doubles. Senior Rebekah Tuchscherer finished the season 10-9 overall and is 7-9 against her SD opponents. She will battle for a medal at number four singles and number two doubles. Junior Jamie DeVaal will compete at the number five singles and number three doubles position. She has a 7-10 overall record and is 6-10 in SD. Rounding out the competitors is Junior Sarah Jarman. She will play the number six singles and number three doubles spot and has a 6-11 overall record and is 5-11 in SD.
The Lady Bulldogs play several Minnesota schools throughout the regular season, but only their results from the South Dakota matches are used in the seeding process for the state tournament.
Tuchscherer and Johnson made the top six last season in their respective positions while Berkner was in the top 10 at state. “It will be tough to have any players seeded in the top eight spots,” mentioned head coach Jim Dahl. “But we expect to see a few near or within the top 10 and hopefully the matchups are favorable to provide positive opportunities in the first rounds of championship play Thursday morning.”
Dahl explained that Berkner has had to move up four spots this season with Johnson and Tuchscherer moving up two each. “I feel they are very ready to compete well at state and represent our team, school and community.”
Stemsrud, DeVaal and Jarman will experience their first state tournament. Each has moved up five spots from last year. “That make it a very tough chore, but they have risen to the occasion during the regular season and we expect no less at state,” said Dahl.
Jodi DeVaal will be the alternate at the state meet. “She has seen varsity action this season in both singles and doubles play,” noted Dahl. “She has filled in for teammates in the above positions and will be ready to substitute if needed at the state meet.”
Milbank Area 4, Benson, MN, 3
Milbank Area traveled to Benson, MN, Thursday, October 1, to wrap up its regular season and suffered a 4-3 loss to a much improved opponent. “Benson has a decent team this year, including a strong group at the JV level,” said Dahl. Stemsrud, Johnson and Tuchscherer secured wins in their singles matches. The team ended its season with an 8-11 overall record.
1. Cara Berkner fell to Kelsey Rajewsky, 6-0, 6-0; 2. Tatiana Stemsrud defeated Kellie Enderson, 6-4, 6-1; 3. Paige Johnson won over Katie Samuelson, 6-4, 6-4; 4. Rebekah Tuchscherer downed Anne Dieter, 6-4, 6-1.
1. Jamie DeVaal/Sarah Jarman fell to Vergin/Grusing, 6-2, 6-1; 2. Jodi DeVaal/Rhianna Cantine lost to McDonald/Fugleberg, 6-0, 6-4; 3. Halli Essington/Rhianna Welberg dropped to Ricard/Hoffman, 6-0, 6-1.
Junior Varsity Singles
1. Jenna Johnson fell to Sophia Curriel, 8-1; 2. Kaitlin Schmitt lost to Amy Zniewski, 8-1; 3. Bailey Frerichs dropped to Courtney Hornerman, 8-0; 4. Shelby Lee fell to Susan Knutson, 8-1; 5. MacKenzie Michels lost to Stacy Johnson, 8-0; Mackenzie Michels dropped to Taylar Samuelson, 8-4.
Junior Varsity Doubles
1. Jodi DeVaal/Rhianna Cantine fell to Emma Heinzig/Grace Arne, 6-3; 2. Essington/Welberg lost to Lenz/S