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Tennis: Osakis freshman Leah Maddock wins Section 6A, qualifies for second straight state tournament

Maddock (26-3) won all four of her matches in the Section 6A singles tournament in straight sets as she continues to cement herself as one of the top players in Minnesota. Ellie George and Madeline Anderson take fourth in doubles.

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From left to right, Osakis senior Ellie George, freshman Leah Maddock, and junior Madeline Anderson pose for a picture with their medals from the Section 6A singles and doubles tournament in Rogers on Oct. 18, 2022. George and Anderson teamed up to take fourth in the doubles tournament, and Maddock won the singles championship to qualify for her second straight Class A state tournament.
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ROGERS — Osakis’ Leah Maddock is still only a freshman, but she is quickly cementing herself as one of the top Class A tennis players in the Minnesota State High School League after making her second individual state tournament on Tuesday.

Maddock competed in the state tournament as an 8th-grader after taking second in the Section 6A singles tournament last year. She lived up to the No. 1 seed she earned in this year’s field by winning 6-2, 6-0 in the semifinals and then 6-2, 6-1 in the finals. She won all four of her matches during the section tournament by straight sets.

“She played really well,” Leah’s coach and father, Ryan Maddock, said. “She hits with a lot of pace, and that seems to affect other people’s timing. Her forehand is super strong, and her return of serve, she gets a lot of winners on that. It just puts pressure on people to make their first serve because a lot of times that second serve, she can take advantage of. She did a good job of not feeling pressure. Being the No. 1 seed as a young kid, she was able to get out there and just play like it was another match.”

Leah’s semifinals win came against Mya Mayhew of New London-Spicer. The finals came down to Maddock versus Isla Dille of Litchfield, who was seeded third in the tournament. Maddock gave up just three games after also beating Dille by a 6-2, 6-3 final during the 2021 singles tournament.

Maddock will play at the Class A state tournament on Oct. 27 in Minneapolis at the Reed-Sweatt Tennis Center. Leah hopes to join her brother in making a deep state tournament run after Isaac Maddock finished his junior year this past spring with a 25-1 record and as the state runner-up.

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Leah will enter the state tournament with a 26-3 overall record.

“She’s shown that she can play with most anyone, so it should be exciting,” Ryan Maddock said. “She should have a good chance. Some of the very top seeds are tough from Breck and Rochester Lourdes. Some of those kids are hard to get on the board with sometimes, but I think if you take away the very top couple of kids, I think she can play with anybody. We played a pretty strong schedule, so she’s pretty well prepared.”

George, Anderson finish fourth

Osakis senior Ellie George and junior Madeline Anderson almost joined Maddock at state after making a run to a fourth-place finish in the Section 6A doubles tournament.

Anderson and George were the fifth seed and won their first two matches in straight sets last week. They ran into the No. 1 team in Tuesday's semifinals against Karlee Prahl and Ryanna Steinhaus of Litchfield where they fell 6-1, 6-0.

George and Anderson played second-seeded Lauren Erickson and Olivia Olson of Litchfield in the third-place match where Erickson and Olson won 6-1, 6-4.

“They played well,” Ryan Maddock said. “Steinhaus and Prahl will probably be a top three seed (at state). That hasn’t come out yet, but they’ll have a good chance to maybe even win the state doubles. They’re that good. It’s hard to get on the board against a team like that, but I thought (George and Anderson) played well. They probably played some of their best tennis. It’s a tough section. The three teams that finished above them are all pretty legit. The last match, they played well and it just didn’t end up going their way.”

Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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