VIRGINIA — The Virginia girls’ tennis team hosted Aitkin and Pequot Lakes Tuesday at their tennis facilities and came away with two wins that were impressive for different reasons.
In their opening 7-0 win against Aitkin, the Blue Devils used a younger, less experienced lineup against the Gobblers and came away with wins at every position.
In their win against Pequot Lakes, Virginia used all their firepower and came away with a 4-3 win that may be a preview of this year’s 7A championship.
Against Aitkin, the Devils sat seniors Anna Seitz and Ava Warren at the top two singles spots, allowing younger players to fill some spots against a younger Gobblers team.
“Aitkin is young and very inexperienced,” Virginia head coach Jeff Mauston said. “We wanted to put some other kids out there and see what would happen and everyone played pretty well.”
At No. 1 singles, Mary Skorich grabbed a point for the Devils, winning convincingly over Ellie Jindra, 6-0, 6-2. Megan Kingston won at No. 2 singles, 6-3, 6-0 over Aitkin’s Grace Janzen.
At the No. 3 singles spot, Anneka Lundgren was nearly perfect in a 6-1, 6-0 rout of the Gobblers’ Kelsey Welle. In the last singles spot, Sydney Cope-Robinson picked a straight sets win of her own over Aitkin’s Breanna Hires, 6-2, 6-1.
On the doubles side, Izzy Baggenstoss and Jayda Westerbur held their own at the top spot, defeating Aitkin’s Brooke Hansen and Abbey Monse, 6-2, 6-2. Abby Moore and Ava Fink were off the court as quickly as they were on it with a 6-0, 6-1 win over their Aitkin opponents, Sophie Ryan and Ashlyn Berg.
At the No. 3 doubles spot, Ella Lamppa and Abby Keyport made quick work of their Aitkin adversaries Macy Pavlbeck and Katelyn Welle, 6-1, 6-0.
“I think some of the matches were key for some of our younger girls and some of our older girls who don’t have as much varsity experience yet.
“I thought [senior] Sydney Cope-Robinson did a great job for us at No. 4 singles. I think she has a great season ahead of her if she can gain some confidence and keep getting better.
“[Junior] Abby Keyport and [sophomore] Ella Lamppa were very strong for us at third doubles. They did a great job out there and it was nice to see that they can compete when they’re in our lineup.”
In their second match of the day, the 4-3 victory over Pequot Lakes came down to the wire as Virginia’s No. 1 singles player, Anna Seitz, defeated her Patriots opponent Megan Muller in a third set tiebreaker, 6-2, 4-6, [10-8], to take the deciding fourth point for the Blue Devils.
“You can’t ask for much more than that,” Mauston said of Seitz.
The Devils other singles point came from Skorich at the No. 3 spot after she defeated Madeline Pluimer, 6-2, 6-0.
Losses in singles came from Ava Warren at the No. 2 spot (6-2, 6-2 vs. Courtney Boller) and Megan Kingston at the No. 4 spot (6-2, 6-4 vs. Carly Chaney).
On the doubles side, Lundgren and Smith led the way for the Devils at the top spot, defeating Pequot Lakes’ Alexa Fyle and Elli Saxerud, 6-2, 6-1. Playing at the No. 2 spot, Baggenstoss and Westerbur picked up their second win of the day, defeating Madeline Sherman and Afton Crocker, 6-3, 6-4.
The lone Virginia loss in doubles came at the No. 3 spot with the Patriots’ Morgan Lueck and Quinn Trottier besting Abby Moore and Ava Fink in a third set tiebreaker, 6-4, 6-7, [10-6].
With Mauston predicting Pequot Lakes to be one of the section’s top teams this year, the win over the Patriots gives Virginia plenty to work with early in the season.
“I think this match gives us a lot of things. We lost at a couple of points that I really thought we should have won. At some spots we didn’t have as much firepower as we hoped we would have and some of our girls started their matches outdoors and had to come indoors and wait due to the rain.
“There’s some mental things to work on there. Maybe some fatigue playing a factor or pressure playing in front of a home crowd. We’re also playing a lot of tennis early in the season so it’s a lot all at once.”
The Devils will continue with another quadrangular today in Litchfield. Mauston hopes their deep roster will allow some other players to take some well deserved breaks with another set of matches on their plate.
“We rested a few girls this morning,” Mauston said. “Hopefully with the number of girls we’re taking to Litchfield we can rest some more Wednesday and rotate more girls in today and give them some more opportunities.”
Virginia 7, Aitkin 0
Singles: No. 1 Mary Skorich, V, def. Ellie Jindra, A, 6-0, 6-2; No. 2 Megan Kingston, V, def. Grace Janzen, A, 6-3, 6-0; No. 3 Anneka Lundgren, V, def. Kelsey Welle, A, 6-1, 6-0; No. 4 Sydney Cope-Robinson, V, def. Breanna Hires, A, 6-2, 6-1.
Doubles: No. 1 Izzy Baggenstoss/Jayda Westerbur, V, def. Brooke Hansen/Abby Monse, A, 6-2, 6-2; No. 2 Abby Moore/Ava Fink, V, def. Sophie Ryan/Ashlyn Berg, A, 6-0, 6-1; No. 3 Ella Lamppa/Abby Keyport, V, def. Macy Pavlbeck/Katelyn Welle, A, 6-1, 6-0.
Virginia 4, Pequot Lakes 3
Singles: No. 1 Anna Seitz, V, def. Megan Muller, PL, 6-2, 4-6, [10-8]; No. 2 Courtney Boller, PL, def. Ava Warren, V, 6-2, 6-2; No. 3 Mary Skorich, V, def. Madeline Pluimer, PL, 6-2, 6-0; No. 4 Carly Chaney, PL, def. Megan Kingston, V, 6-2, 6-4.
Doubles: No. 1 Anneka Lundgren/Jacie Smith, V, def. Alexa Fyle/Elli Saxerud, PL, 6-2, 6-1; No. 2 Izzy Baggenstoss/Jayda Westerbur, V, def. Madeline Sherman/Afton Crocker, PL, 6-3, 6-4; No. 3 Morgan Lueck/Quinn Trottier, PL, def. Abby Moore/Ava Fink, V, 6-4, 6-7, [10-6].