The Lady Bulldogs tennis team made Milbank and their head coach, Abbey Trapp, proud at the state tennis tournament in Sioux Falls October 2-3. “It was an incredible state tournament. My girls gave it their all in every match, and I am extremely proud of each one of them,” Trapp commented. (Click here for additional story on the state tourney.)
In an exciting first-round match, Hope Karels, playing at No. 1, defeated her opponent from Spearfish in the third set of the tiebreaker. She then had to face the No.1-ranked girl in the state from St. Thomas More. Karels lost that match and then lost a very tough match to Rapid City Christian to place fourth overall.
“Hope has dedicated her high school career and summer to improving her tennis game, and it paid off,” Trapp said. “She told me at the beginning of the season she wanted to make the podium, and she accomplished just that!”
“Ashlynn (Lamp) fought hard in her two singles matches but just fell short,” Trapp said, “Ashlynn has come a long way from the beginning. She works hard on the court. She plays at No. 2, and that level of competition is hard.”
Jenna (Korstjens) in the No. 3 position, advanced to the consolation championship match. “She fell short by two points in a tiebreaker,” Trapp noted. “Jenna is a fighter! She never gives up, and at State, she showed how much she had improved her groundstrokes.”
Amelia Pederson won the third and fourth place match to be named third in the state at No. 4 singles. “Amelia is my energizer bunny,” Trapp observed. “She is constantly moving her feet and stays happy regardless of the score.”
“Caitlyn (Frerichs) and Jericho (Jones) play at our No. 5 and No. 6 singles spots, Trapp explained. “They both played hard and gave it their all. Caitlyn is coachable, and she fought hard in her matches. Jericho is new to tennis this year, and for her to make varsity her first year out is incredible! She did great!”
“Charlotte (Swanson) and Payton (Lamp)– we call them out littles – are seventh graders, and they played our No. 3 doubles. These girls are small, but they fight hard and hit well. I am very proud of the way they stepped up on our varsity team,” Trapp said.
She also commented, “The wind was crazy the first day. It was pushing and pulling balls in all different directions. All our doubles team did great making it into the second day.”
Steve Stemsrud, Trapp’s assistant coach, was also instrumental in the team finishing their season on such a high note. “Many thanks to my assistant coach, Steve, for all his time this season. It would not be possible to have a successful season without him,” she said.
In addition, Trapp thanked the parents, grandparents, and fans who supported the team during the state tournament. “ It was great to have such a whole fan base. All my families are fantastic, and I appreciate everything everyone did.”
“Lastly,” she commented, “Hope and Amelia are more than just great tennis players. They are incredible ladies. I was approached multiple times by parents, fans, and coaches throughout the tournament, who told me they were blown away by how nice, caring, and supportive these girls are to everyone around them on and off the court. As a coach, I always teach my players about character, integrity, and how to represent yourself on and off the court. It’s a great feeling when my girls get recognized for this!”