Tennis: Norder, Newberry, Baker compete at state
While Rosemount's girls tennis team finished short of its goal of advancing to the state tournament as team for the second consecutive year, the Irish were still heavily involved in this season's Class 2A state tennis championships.
With one singles player and one doubles team advancing to last week's state tournament, Rosemount was still receiving experience and exposure at the Baseline Tennis Center at the University of Minnesota.
Ninth-grader Virginia Norder competed in the Class 2A state singles tournament for the second straight year. Senior Makayla Newberry and ninth-grader Ally Baker took part in the Class 2A state doubles tournament.
The appearances by the trio at last week's state tournament helped the Irish overcome a tough loss to Eagan in the team section finals.
Newberry and Baker were able to draw on the experience of advancing to state as a team last year.
"I think having a taste of the team state tournament last year and missing out to Eagan this year definitely made them hungry to go to state individually and wanting a chance at the experience," Rosemount coach Dana Beck said. "This is the first time a doubles team has gone to state that I know of from Rosemount."
The appearance for Newberry might have been extra special because she was able to finish her senior season at state.
But it was a short-lived appearance for Rosemount's qualifiers.
Newberry and Baker lost 6-4, 6-1 in the first round to a team from Elk River.
The pair came back in the consolation round, losing a close match against a team from White Bear Lake. The Irish lost 6-3, 3-6, (10-8) in the consolation round.
Newberry and Baker lost the super tiebreaker 10-8 after being tied 8-8.
"Makayla and Ally faced some aggressive opponents and played well," Beck said. "It could have gone either way. It was a great accomplishment for Makayla, a senior player who has played No. 1 doubles her entire career at Rosemount, to get to the state tournament. She couldn't have done it without Ally's great groundstrokes from the baseline. They made a great doubles team."
In her second appearance, Norder received a tough draw after being the runner up in the section tournament.
"The champions play the runner-ups, so it usually is a better draw if you are the champion in the first round, but this just depends on the odds of how the draw plays out," Beck said.
Norder lost to eventual champion Kelsey Frechette from Rochester Century in the first round, 6-1, 6-1.
In the consolation round, Norder lost 6-2, 6-4 to Edina's Caroline Ward. Ward eventually advanced to the consolation finals.
"The draw did not favor her this year in any way," Beck said. "Hopefully she will continue to improve and take the champion 3AA singles spot next year and get a more favorable draw.
"She did a superior job this year handling the pressure of the individual tournament experience. I think she had a better understanding of just how good the competition is when you get to the state level. She has really matured over a year of competitive play, both in season and offseason, and I am very proud of her."