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Tennis: Silverstreaks advance to semifinals at state

Kiara Hensley (left) and Camryn Hoffarth celebrate after a point in their state matchup against Blue Earth Area. They won second doubles, 6-2, 7-6(3). (Emily Myrin / Echo Press)1 / 5
Tia Dykema returns the ball in the first round of state tournament play. Dykema won her match to help the Silverstreaks beat Blue Earth Area 6-1. (Emily Myrin / Echo Press)2 / 5
Seniors Karlee Hoffarth (left) and Kali Giesler talk with coach Ryan Maddock between sets. Hoffarth and Giesler won first doubles against Blue Earth Area, 6-1, 6-0. (Emily Myrin / Echo Press)3 / 5
The Osakis tennis team advanced to the semifinals in the Class A state tournament. They beat Blue Earth Area in the first round, 6-1. (Emily Myrin / Echo Press)4 / 5
Lauren Scherr returns the ball to Arika Howard in third singles. Scherr won 6-4, 6-4. (Emily Myrin / Echo Press)5 / 5

The Osakis girls tennis team had a few goals in mind from the beginning of the season.

On Tuesday, the Silverstreaks surpassed even what they had in mind this past summer.

"We made a list of goals on the first day of captains practice," senior Karlee Hoffarth said. "We said, conference champs, the different tournaments we play, those titles. We said section champs, but to be honest, I don't think we ever imagined that this would happen."

Hoffarth and her teammates had just won the first round of play in the Class A state tournament to advance to the semifinals. The Silverstreaks walked away from their match against Blue Earth Area with a 6-1 victory.

"In 2011, 2012, 2013, we lost in that first round and just had that one win in the consolation round, so yeah, this is huge," Osakis coach Ryan Maddock said. "They were sharp right from the get-go. They played well."

The Silverstreaks haven't made it to state in three years.

"We had a really young team this year so I think no one really had super high expectations," senior Kali Giesler said. "But the little girls really stepped up a lot during the season. It was really awesome to see them grow in their ability throughout the season."

Hoffarth and Giesler had a near shutout victory over Malarie Scholtes and Carissa Engesser, 6-1, 6-0, at first doubles. The duo didn't really know what to expect in this atmosphere, but they handled any nerves with ease.

"To be honest, we have never been here. It's been three years since we made it to state, since we were freshman," Giesler said. "Winning that first match was a really big pickup for us."

Freshman Tia Dykema has been to the state singles tournament before, but this was the first time she's played with the team there. Dykema took that first singles spot on Tuesday with a 6-2, 6-3 win.

Shea Olson took second singles, 6-1, 6-4. Lauren Scherr battled and won third singles over Arika Howard, 6-4 and 6-4. The only point Blue Earth Area took was in fourth singles where Tea Armstrong triumphed over Osakis' Alexa Lien, 6-3 and 6-2.

Camryn Hoffarth and Kiara Hensley took second doubles 6-2 and 7-6 (3) against McKenna Dutton and Britt Howard. Dinara Dykema and Mara VanNyhuis won third doubles in two sets, 6-4 and 6-3.

"Everyone on the team has put in more time than you can imagine. I'm just so proud of all of them," Hoffarth said.

On Wednesday, the Silverstreaks will face Holy Family Catholic after the Fire beat Virginia 4-3 on Tuesday.

"Whatever we think the ceiling is for how well a kid can play, it's hard to play to that point," Maddock said. "We were playing up there to our ceiling in most, if not all our spots today. Just to be in the final four is a big deal. We don't know a lot about (Holy Family Catholic). They look pretty strong, but if we can play to a similar level as today then we have a chance. It's a good feeling to be at this point."

The two teams will meet up at the Reed-Sweatt Tennis Center in Minneapolis at 8 a.m. The winner moves onto the championship at 4 p.m. The loser of that semifinals match goes into the third-place match at 2 p.m.

OSAKIS 6, BLUE EARTH AREA 1

SINGLES - No 1 - T. Dykema (O) def. Macis Stevermer (B), 6-2, 6-3; No. 2 - Olson (O) def. Julia Hanson (B), 6-1, 6-4; No. 3 - Scherr (O) def. Arika Howard (B), 6-4, 6-4; No. 4 - Armstrong (B) def. Lien (O), 6-3, 6-2

DOUBLES - No. 1 - Giesler/ K. Hoffarth (O) def. Scholtes.Engesser (B), 6-1, 6-0; No. 2 - C. Hoffarth/ Hensley (O) def. Dutton/Howard (B), 6-2, 7-6(3); No. 3 - D. Dykema/VanNyhuis (O) def. Cali Beyer/Sydney Blagg, 6-4, 6-3

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