Girls Tennis: Bombers pair miss out on state
ROCHESTER – Trying to become the first Cannon Falls pair to reach the state tournament in 18 years, the Bombers’ Maddie Adel and Tayler Banitt clawed back from a 3-0 deficit to take a 5-3 lead in the first set of the Section 1A championship match on Tuesday.
But against the No. 2 team, Katie Tlusty and Anna Hoehn of Waseca, Adel and Banitt were unable to hold onto the lead as Tlusty and Hoehn tied the match at 6-6, eventually winning in a 7-5 tiebreaker. Adel and Banitt then fell into the true second-place match after losing the championship 7-6 (5), 6-0.
“We couldn’t finish out that set,” said Cannon Falls head coach Paul Norstad. “It seemed to be the turning point. After that, we struggled a little bit.”
In the semifinals, Adel and Banitt defeated Waseca’s other pairing, Olivia McIntosh and Maddy Knoll, 6-4, 7-5.
With one more chance to get into the state tournament, Adel and Banitt faced off with the tournament’s No. 1 seed, Rachel Kamath and Jessica Alexander of Rochester Lourdes. The Bombers duo’s season came to an end with a 6-1, 6-0 loss at the Rochester Athletic Club.
“If we could have gotten that first set (in the championship), it would have been a different story,” Norstad said.
Playing at No. 1 and 2 singles throughout the year for Cannon Falls, Adel and Banitt made a strong postseason run in hopes for a state berth. Instead, the season ended in heartbreak for the twosome — the section’s No. 3 seed.
“We were a little disappointed, to be honest,” Norstad said. “Usually if you make it to the championship match, that’s good enough, but both higher-seeded teams were upset in the first round (on Tuesday) and that makes things tough.”
In singles competition, Rochester Lourdes’ Sofia Terzic won the section title with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Jenny Mulvey of Trinity School at River Ridge.