Girls Tennis: Red Wing overpowers New Prague at homeA disagreement at No. 1 doubles caused a lengthy delay between Red Wing and New Prague Tuesday at Twin Bluff Middle School in Red Wing but the Wingers built an early lead with the first five wins off the court en route to a 6-1 win in their final home match of the season.
By: R-E Sports Staff, The Republican Eagle
A disagreement at No. 1 doubles caused a lengthy delay between Red Wing and New Prague Tuesday at Twin Bluff Middle School in Red Wing but the Wingers built an early lead with the first five wins off the court en route to a 6-1 win in their final home match of the season.
“This will be very helpful in seeding,” Red Wing head coach Randy Decker said of the victory. “No one wants to play (Rochester) Century.”
Red Wing (10-8, 3-3 Missota) grabbed the victory with impressive play at singles, only dropping a three-set match at No. 4 singles.
Junior Nicole Schammel defeated Deven Fennern 6-4, 6-1 at No. 1 singles and looked unfazed against a talented opponent.
“Nicole is quite possibly impossible to intimidate,” Decker said. “She does not care. She thinks she can win. That’s a very healthy attitude in a No. 1 singles player.”
At No. 2 singles, eighth-grader Emily Otteson won her sixth match in a row 6-1, 6-2.
“She’s just on a roll,” Decker said. “It’s very encouraging.”
Ninth-grader Morley Struss controlled play at No. 3 singles, winning 6-4, 6-0 against Sami Bisek.
Senior Kristen Anderson won the first set 6-1 at No. 4 singles before being forced into another three-set match where she fell 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 to Jirina Flicek.
Tempers flared at No. 1 doubles but the Wingers still came away with a doubles sweep.
Red Wing senior Katie Kelly and junior Emily Stegora lost the first set 6-0 to Anna Johnson and Nicole McQueen but recovered to win the next two sets 7-5, 6-2. In the second set, both pairings thought they had won a game and continued playing subsequent games until Kelly and Stegora thought they were leading the set 4-2 and Johnson and McQueen said it was tied 3-3. Once the delay was over, Kelly and Stegora fought to a tie at 5-5 before taking control of the match.
“They played really well in the third set,” Decker said.
The Wingers’ No. 2 doubles pair of sophomore Lauren Brooks and junior Katie Carlson grabbed a 6-3, 6-4 victory and haven’t lost together this season, Decker said. Red Wing’s final win came at No. 3 doubles with sophomore McKenzie Muelken and senior Maddie Flack winning easily 6-2, 6-0.
It was a bittersweet night for Decker as he coached his final home match before resigning from the position at the end of the year. He said it was a similar feeling parents of seniors deal with as their kids graduate. It’s not as powerful but there is happiness mixed with sorrow.
“It’s such a privilege to do this and it’s so enjoyable,” he said. “While I hope the girls certainly enjoy their time, there’s very little chance they’ve enjoyed it as much as I have. … This group of seniors is definitely special to me. It’s fun but it is poignant.”
But Decker still showed his coaching mentality as he looked forward to next season. The Wingers have had less success than usual this year but the future is bright.
“Next year, I think we’ll bounce right back up,” he said. “I’m still going to try to help out.”
Red Wing travels to face seventh-ranked (2A) Chanhassen Thursday to end the regular season.