The Lady Bulldog tennis team faced both Aberdeen schools August 30. They battled Roncalli in a match that went down to the wire, but the Lady Dawgs were victorious. Number 3 singles player, Jodi DeVaal, made a comeback several times to win in a tie breaker and seal the team win.
“I know she and her teammates were stretched physically in their final singles set of the day,” said Coach Jim Dahl. “It was really exciting for both teams to have those girls out there at the end to determine the match. It was a valuable experience for both to handle the pressure and play so well in a set that could have gone either way. We were also elated to win 2 of the 3 doubles to start the match.”
“Jodi DeVaal and Jamie DeVaal at #2 doubles and Sarah Jarman and Hallie Essington at #3 played with poise and excitement to start the match at 2-1,”Dahl said. “We knew we needed 3 of 6 singles to win the match. It looked good deeper into it as we were leading in 4 of the 6. Roncalli, however, came on strong toward the end and took one and nearly the other.”
According to Dahl, Jaime DeVaal and Essington, at #4 and #6 had great starts to their singles sets and continued throughout to get wins. “As a team, you need all five to win the match, but the drama at the end as with Jodi seldom happens in a season. They were on the courts a half an hour after everyone else was done to determine the match.”
“It is always a test of endurance when we play Central and Roncalli, back-to-back on their home courts,” stated Dahl. “Once again, our girls did not disappoint with their willingness to be tested mentally and physically early in the season and understand the value of growth potential for our team.”
Milbank suffered an 8-1 loss to Aberdeen Central to start the day. Paige Johnson and Tatiana Stemsrud, at number 1 doubles, secured the team’s only set win of the match. “They did a fine job of settling into the match and steadying their play in the latter more critical part of the set. We had one other doubles and two singles sets that were very competitive, so we look forward to a rematch on our home court,” said Coach Dahl.
Milbank will play a rescheduled match in Belgrade, MN, Thursday, September 1, and travel to Watertown Tuesday, September 6.
Results from the matches in Aberdeen:
Milbank 1, Aberdeen Central 8
1. Paige Johnson fell to Haley Gonsor, 11-10(5); 2. Tatiana Stemsrud lost to Jessie Sommers, 10-7; 3. Jodi DeVaal dropped to Grace Douglas, 10-0; 4. Jamie DeVaal fell to Mirra Frohling, 10-8; 5. Sarah Jarman lost to Kayley Henjum, 10-3; 6. Hallie Essington dropped to Hannah Johnson, 10-4.
1. Johnson/Stemsrud defeated Gonsor/Sommers, 11-9; 2. DeVaal/DeVaal fell to Douglas/Henjum, 10-5; 3. Jarman/Essington lost to Johnson/Frohling, 10-7.
Rhianna Cantine fell to Jen Appl, 8-4; Rhianna Welberg defeated Aliyah Groux, 8-0; Cantine/Welberg won over Appl/Groux, 11-9.
Milbank 5. Aberdeen Roncalli 4
1. Paige Johnson fell to Madison Sumner, 10-7; 2. Tatiana Stemsrud lost to Emma Gallagher, 10-7; 3. Jodi DeVaal defeated Ellie Litzen, 11-10(4); 4. Jamie DeVaal won over Shelby Weig, 10-4; 5. Sarah Jarman dropped to Mariah Brandner, 10-7; 6. Hallie Essington defeated Ali Miller, 10-5.
1. Johnson/Stemsrud fell to Sumner/Gallagher, 10-8; 2. DeVaal/DeVaal defeated Litzen/Weig, 10-6; 3. Jarman/Essington downed Brandner/Miller, 10-8.
Milbank Junior Varsity vs. Roncalli
1. Rhianna Cantine fell to Allison Shock, 10-5; 2. Rhianna Welberg defeated Abbey Hanson, 10-5; 3. Jenna Johnson lost to Gemini Cantelope, 8-6; 4. Hattie Muellenbach won over Alex Day, 8-6; 5. Kaitlyn Schmitt dropped to Halli Haskel, 8-1; 6. Bailey Frerichs downed Grace Kline, 8-2; 7. Jessica Fenhaus defeated Vanessa Maina, 8-3; 8. Alexis Ninneman fell to Mariah Barnett, 10-6; 9. Morgan Folk won over Rachel Swisher, 8-3; 10. MacKenzie Michels downed Jasmine Hart, 6-2; 11. Camryn Popowski fell to Rachel Fischer, 6-0; 12. Alexis Ninneman defeated Vanessa Maina, 6-3.
1. Cantine/Welberg fell to Shock/Hanson, 10-5; 2. J. Johnson/Muellenbach lost to Cantelope/Day, 10-8; 3. Schmitt/Frerichs defeated Haskel/Kline, 11-10(2); 4. Fenhaus/Folk dropped to Gina Abba/Alexa Fridel, 6-2; 5. Michels/Popowski won over Hart/Swisher, 10-6.
Pictured is Jodi DeVaal