None of the wins were easy.
In fact, in only one of them did it not require winning a set 7-5, or a tiebreaker.
However, Little Falls showed its mettle in crunch time, Monday, taking down host Sartell-St. Stephen 5-2.
“I hope it means that we’ve finally found the confidence to win the close matches,” Little Falls head coach Joel Youngberg said. “We’ve had numerous opportunities to win matches that were close this year and we just haven’t quite closed them out. We had two matches that we lost 3-4 that could have gone our way had we closed out a couple matches.
“We’ve also had two matches that looked rather lopsided in the end but were very close throughout,” he said. “In those two matches we had, a combined, nine matches go into third-set tiebreaks. Of those nine, we were only victorious in one. That takes a lot of wind out of the sails and allows doubt to creep in.”
The Flyers’ top three singles players didn’t let any doubt derail them, each fighting to straight-set victories.
Sophomore Arielle Emerson won 6-3, 7-6 (4) at No. 1 singles, sophomore Angela Meschke prevailed 6-1, 7-5 at No. 2 singles and senior Katelynn Kanieski was a 7-5, 6-4 winner at No. 3 singles.
Little Falls also picked up a 6-3, 6-4 win from its top doubles duo of seniors Rachel Veillette and Mikayla Gottwalt and a 6-3, 7-5 win from the No. 3 doubles pairing of junior Elizabeth Kula and freshman Lydia Lange.
“I guess I was impressed, but I was far more proud,” Youngberg said. “The girls have been working really hard this year and through the offseason this summer. It was great to see that hard work finally pay off. The impressive note on the matches from Sartell that don’t show up in the end of match results are just how the individual matches were played.
“In every match that we won, the individuals or teams were down at some point in the second set. We had two matches where girls came back from three games down. That takes guts and it was great to see the girls fight for every win. Hopefully, this attitude and confidence carries into the conference and section tournament.”
Little Falls also took on Granite Ridge Conference power Foley, Sept. 4, falling 7-0 to the host Falcons.
Pierz drops tight match to Aitkin, takes sixth place at Pine City tournament
Pierz took two of three doubles matches, but Aitkin’s strength in singles proved enough in a 4-3 victory for the visiting Gobblers, Sept. 4.
Seniors Shelbie Boser and Kelsey Moulzolf earned a hard-fought 7-6 (6), 6-4 win at No. 1 doubles, while senior Talyre Boser and junior Alivia Leidenfrost had a bit easier time of things recording a 6-3, 6-2 win at No. 3 doubles.
Freshmen Brittney Boser picked up the lone singles win for the Pioneers, cruising 6-1, 6-1 in the No. 4 slot.
Pierz then took part in the Pine City tournament, Sept. 6, tying for sixth place out of eight teams.
Sophomore Hannah Andrea pounded her first-round foe 6-0, 6-1 en route to a fourth-place finish at No. 2 singles and sophomore Abby Athman pulled out a lengthy 6-7, 7-5, 7-5 win in her final match of the day at No. 3 singles.
After dropping a tight first-round match, Brittney Boser came back for a 7-6, 6-2 win in her second match and a 6-3, 6-2 win to close the day to earn fifth place at No. 4 singles.
Pierz’ top doubles team of Shelbie Boser and Moulzolf sailed 6-1, 6-2 in the first round before having to injury default to fourth place.
In the No. 2 doubles competition, Talyre Boser and Leidenfrost won their second match 6-3, 6-2, while the No. 3 doubles team of seniors Beth Oldakowski and Alysia Przybilla rallied from a first-round defeat for wins of 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 and 6-3, 6-4 to take fifth place.
The Pioneers then traveled to Becker, Tuesday, falling 6-1 to the Bulldogs.
Brittney Boser tallied another win at No. 4 singles, dominating her opponent 6-3, 6-0.
Thunder sweep NY Mills
Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Upsala-Swanville Area (LPGE/USA) blasted host New York Mills 7-0 to move into second place in the Prairie Conference, Tuesday.
Junior McKenzie Barth, the team’s top singles player most of the season, spent the day in the top doubles slot with senior Amanda Tschida, with the duo producing a 6-1, 6-4 victory.
The host Thunder swiped some games, and even a set, but fell 7-0 against No. 9 Osakis for the second time this season, Sept. 4.