State Class A tennis: Osakis team is consolation runner-up
By: Eric Morken, Alexandria Echo Press
The Osakis tennis team came away with a team win at the Class A state tennis tournament in Minneapolis last week as the Silverstreaks played for a consolation championship.
Osakis got its feet wet at last year’s state tournament. This year, they went in believing they could advance to the second day of play and did that with a 4-3 win over Staples-Motley after a 7-0 loss to Waseca in the opener.
That moved Osakis to the consolation championship where they matched up against St. James on Wednesday. The Silverstreaks forced a third set in a couple of matches but couldn’t overcome a powerful Saints’ lineup as they fell 7-0.
“I thought our girls really competed well,” head coach Ryan Maddock said. “I didn’t feel like we were intimidated, and we really put together solid efforts in our matches. It was great to get a chance to play against that level of competition. We were definitely more comfortable than a year ago. It is an eye-opening experience seeing the ability of some of the top players in the state.”
The Silverstreaks almost got a couple wins against St. James as they forced a third set in two of the three doubles spots. Katelyn Foster and Elyse Wiener won 6-4 in the opening set at second doubles before falling 6-1, 10-5. Ashley Kraemer and Hannah Szech forced a third set with a 6-4 win in the second and lost a tight tiebreaker 10-7.
Osakis used three wins in the singles lineup against Staples-Motley to make sure it came home with a win over the Cardinals. Lauren Silbernick, Hannah Baker and Alexa Hoffarth all took care of business in straight sets at the second, third and fourth spots, respectively. Kraemer and Szech added the decisive fourth point with a straight-set win at third doubles to send their team to day two of the tournament.
“It was an awesome experience for the girls to get a team win during the tournament,” Maddock said. “We felt that winning a match at state would be a great accomplishment for our team and another stepping stone to the progress we’ve been making the last few years.”
It’s an Osakis tennis program that has averaged more than 20 wins per season over the last five years. The Silverstreaks proved to be the top Class A team in the area again this season despite losing some quality talent off of last year’s state tournament team. They went into this year’s tournament undefeated in dual meets and finished the year with a 22-2 record overall.
“Overall, this season was very special,” Maddock said. “I thought we would have some ups and downs early on and was hoping to be playing well at the end of the season, so to go undefeated up until the state tournament was something that none of the coaches or players even considered at the beginning of the season.”
A lot will be expected of the Silverstreaks again next year. They lose two good seniors in Silbernick and first-doubles player Angela Bowman but return the rest of their lineup, anchored by junior first singles player Taylor Kraemer.
Osakis used a lot of young talent to secure another trip to state this fall. That’s why they will enter next season with plenty of optimism as they try to make it three straight trips to Minneapolis.
“We feel that with the players coming back next year, we can be right back in the same position,” Maddock said. “We will definitely miss our two seniors, Lauren and Angie. They were great players for us for a long time, and along with Taylor, did a great job as captains this year. The returning girls and coaches are excited about next year’s possibilities.”
CLASS A STATE TOURNAMENT
St. James 7, Osakis 0
SINGLES – No. 1 – Aryn Eckstrom (SJ) def. T. Kraemer, 6-1, 6-0; No. 2 – Lorena Hernandez (SJ) def. Silbernick, 6-0, 6-2; No. 3 – Julia Boeve (SJ) def. Baker, 6-3, 6-4; No. 4 – Aubrey Eckstrom (SJ) def. Hoffarth, 6-0, 6-1
DOUBLES – No. 1 – Michaela Nordby/Acacia Foss (SJ) def. Bowman/Katie Anderson, 6-1, 7-5; No. 2 – Megan Lahti/Michaela Nelson (SJ) def. Foster/Wiener, 4-6, 6-1, 10-5; No. 3 – Cassidy Chapek/Morgan Rankin (SJ) def. Ashley Kraemer/Szech, 6-4, 4-6, 10-7
Osakis 4, Staples-Motley 3
SINGLES – No. 1 – Mikayla Wing (SM) def. T. Kraemer, 6-2, 6-1; No. 2 – Silbernick (O) def. Grace Wolhowe, 6-1, 6-4; No. 3 – Baker (O) def. Emily Israelson, 6-0, 6-2; No. 4 – Hoffarth (O) def. Sarah Koopmann, 7-5, 6-2
DOUBLES – No. 1 – Maggie O’Keefe/Kelsey Zetah (SM) def. Bowman/Anderson, 6-3, 6-1; No. 2 – Annie Kautto/Brooke Wolhowe (SM) def. Foster/Wiener, 6-0, 6-2; No. 3 – A. Kraemer/Szech (O) def. Linsey Johnson/Nikki Edin, 7-5, 6-2
Waseca 7, Osakis 0
SINGLES – No. 1 – Abby Collins (W) def. T. Kraemer, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2; No. 2 – Alicia Knoll (W) def. Silbernick, 6-0, 6-3; No. 3 – Maddie Muotka (W) def. Baker, 6-0, 6-1; No. 4 – Anna Hoehn (W) def. Hoffarth, 4-6, 6-1, 15-13
DOUBLES – No. 1 – Abbe Hoehn/Shanley Nelson (W) def. Bowman/Anderson, 6-3, 7-5; No. 2 – Bailey Krueger/Olivia McIntosh (W) def. Foster/Wiener, 6-1, 6-2; No. 3 – Katie Thusty/Maddy Knoll (W) def. A. Kraemer/Szech, 6-3, 6-1