Tennis: Norder, Baker and Newberry advance to Class 2A StateWhile three individuals advanced, the Irish couldn’t earn another state team berth
By: Brian Hall, Rosemount Town Pages
Though the Rosemount girls tennis team missed out on its ultimate goal of qualifying for a second straight trip to the state tournament, the Irish still accomplished plenty last week.
Rosemount had a trio of players still alive in the individual section tournament.
Ninth-grader Virginia Norder, a state individual qualifier last season, was trying for her own return trip to this week’s state tournament. Irish senior Makayla Newberry and ninth-grader Ally Baker were doing their part in doubles play to add more Rosemount influence into the state tournament.
While the team missed out, the Irish have three players headed to this week’s state tournament at the Baseline Tennis Center at the University of Minnesota.
Norder, the Class 2A, Section 3 No. 1 seed in the singles tournament, qualified for her second state tournament by taking second place in the section bracket. Newberry and Baker battled back after losing in the semifinals to take another second-place finish and advance in the doubles tournament.
“We had an epic night tonight,” Irish coach Dana Beck said.
It didn’t always come easily, but the Irish are advancing regardless.
Norder dropped a 6-0, 6-2 final to Eagan’s Danielle Donahue, the No. 2 seed. But Norder came back to beat Apple Valley’s Irene Chen for the true second match. The top two individuals qualify for the state tournament.
Norder opens the state tournament today with an 8 a.m. match against Kelsey Frechette from Rochester Century.
Newberry and Baker demonstrated comeback ability, and got a fortunate break, to earn their first trip to the individual state tournament.
Newberry and Baker were down one set and trailing 4-1 in the second set before they rallied to win 3-6, 6-4, and 7-5. After Visitation beat Eagan in the finals, Newberry and Baker got an opportunity for a true second match. The Irish had lost to Visitation in the semifinals. If Eagan had beaten Visitation in the finals, Newberry and Baker wouldn’t have had their chance at a true second match.
With the break going their way, Newberry and Baker lost the first set against Eagan, but again bounced back with a 6-4 win in the second set and a 7-4 win in third set. The final match lasted three hours.
Newberry and Baker were the section’s No. 4 seed entering the tournament, but upset the No. 3 and No. 2 seeds to qualify for the state tournament for the first time.
Newberry and Baker open the tournament today at 10 a.m. with a match against Elk River’s Michaela Schulz and Leah Koehler.