Girls Tennis: Wingers eliminated from Section 1AA playoffsNinth-grader Solveig Christenson was hurt but she wanted to keep competing for Red Wing Tuesday during the Wingers’ first round match of the Section 1AA playoffs against Rochester John Marshall in Rochester.
By: R-E Sports Staff, The Republican Eagle
Ninth-grader Solveig Christenson was hurt but she wanted to keep competing for Red Wing Tuesday during the Wingers’ first round match of the Section 1AA playoffs against Rochester John Marshall in Rochester.
Christenson injured her back a couple weeks ago and has dealt with the issue since but she knew fifth-seeded Red Wing needed her to have a chance of knocking off fourth-seeded John Marshall but she retired after dropping the first set 6-3 as the Wingers were eliminated from the playoffs with a 4-3 loss.
“She’s been dealing with that back injury,” Red Wing head coach Randy Decker said. “It’s not in danger of causing structural damage but it’s very painful. If she doesn’t play today, our chances of winning are slim. She went in knowing that even if she’s in pain, she’s very important to our winning. Instead, I looked at the score part way through; she’s winning 3-2. She just kept battling.”
After the 6-3 first set loss, Decker went out and told Christenson to take an injury default.
“I told her, ‘I don’t want you to risk further injury,’” he said. “She was ready to keep going. Remarkable toughness on her part. I was very proud of her.”
Eighth-grader Emily Otteson grabbed Red Wing’s only singles win at No. 3 singles with a 6-4, 6-4 win against Claire Kingsley. Otteson’s improved throughout the year, evidenced by Tuesday’s win. She lost at No. 4 singles against John Marshall earlier in the year.
“Her game jumped a whole level,” Decker said.
The Wingers’ other two wins came at doubles. Sophomore Lauren Brooks and junior Katie Carlson won 6-3, 6-1 at No. 2 doubles while junior Serena Feehan and sophomore McKenzie Muelken defeated Celeste Boles and Anna Hicok 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 at No. 3 doubles. Both pairings went undefeated during the season.
“Our No. 2 and No. 3 doubles, they’ve been super solid all year,” Decker said. “They’re not going to blow people off the court with their strokes but they’re just sneaky good. They’re smart, they’re mentally tough and they just play good doubles.”
Red Wing (10-10) still has individual section play remaining and despite the loss, Decker saw a team ready to make a big jump next season.
“The amount of improvement in just three weeks was impressive,” Decker said. “I think we’re going to take a huge step between this year and next year. We’ll be right back in the mix in the Missota.”