Girls tennis: Osakis claims Section 6A crown
The Section 6A girls tennis crown is staying in Osakis.
The Silverstreaks booked their state tournament reservations on Tuesday in Fargo, N.D., beating Benson/KMS 7-0 in the semifinals and then Minnewaska 4-3 in the finals for their second consecutive section championship.
“It’s hard, so you like to cash in the opportunities when you have a chance because you never know if you’ll be back in that position again,” Osakis head coach Ryan Maddock said of winning a section title. “It felt good to come through.”
Maddock shook up the lineup for the championship bout against the Lakers. He split up the normal No. 1 doubles duo of Shea Olson and Camryn Hoffarth and instead slotted them into Nos. 2 and 4 singles, respectively.
It paid off for Olson, who swept away a 6-0, 6-0 win over Hannah Orlowski.
“We’re always confident in our kids,” Maddock said. “We felt putting Shea in singles was the way to go. It didn’t guarantee anything, but we felt like she’s such a strong, experienced player that maybe we’d be starting with one on the board.”
It did just that, helping make up for the hole created by Minnewaska’s Danielle Thorfinnson -- who defeated Tia Dykema 6-4, 6-3 at No. 1 singles.
“I’ve practiced a lot of singles and I’ve played a couple singles matches,” Olson said. “I’ve played singles pretty much my entire career up until this year, so it felt pretty natural. … I knew that my team was relying on me. I couldn’t just drop this one. Giving it 6-0, giving it my all, really made it feel better.”
“We kind of always knew that Shea was an ace in the hole,” Maddock added. “We thought it gave us the best chance.”
Lauren Scherr added another point to the Osakis cause with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Karra Hanson at No. 3 singles, though Minnewaska’s Maddie Thorfinnson topped Hoffarth 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in comeback fashion.
Alexa Lien and Kennedy George filled the vacancies at No. 1 doubles, but they suffered a 6-1, 6-2 loss to Greta Reichmann and Alissa Thorfinnson. Kadyn Triebenbach and Sydney Rach helped make up the difference, winning 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 at No. 3 doubles over Aliyah Bayer and Olivia Richards.
The Mara VanNyhuis-Larissa Hoffarth duo at No. 2 doubles claimed the decisive fourth point for the Silverstreaks, beating out Annika and Addy Randt 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 at No. 2 doubles.
“Everybody played well, even the matches that didn’t go our way,” Maddock said. “Third doubles has been clutch all year. … (No. 2 doubles) was pretty tight. It was just a critical game, so it was good to see those two get that one.”
The win comes after a regular season matchup where Minnewaska defeated Osakis 4-3 on the Silverstreaks’ home court.
“We knew we would have to work really hard because they’re a really good team. They play hard, they don’t give up either,” Olson said. “We were all just so focused and so ready.”
“(This victory) is special in the sense that we overcame and beat a team that beat us earlier in the year, even though that one was tight, too,” Maddock added. “We feel pretty fortunate to come through, but I thought all the girls played well and didn’t let the moment get too big for them.”
The Silverstreaks reached the championship round after sweeping Benson/KMS in the semifinals.
Dykema opened with a 6-2, 6-0 win at No. 1 singles, while Scherr won 6-2, 6-2 at No. 2. Lien followed at No. 3 as a 6-2, 7-5 winner, and George won at No. 4, 6-0, 6-2.
Olson and Hoffarth were together at No. 1 doubles, winning 6-0, 6-1, and VanNyhuis and Hoffarth took a 6-4, 6-0 decision at No. 2. Rach and Triebenbach closed things out as 6-1, 6-3 victors at No. 3 doubles.
With Tuesday’s victories, Osakis will return to the state tournament for a second straight season. It kicks off for them at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 23, where the Silverstreaks will take on the Section 5A champions at Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis in Minneapolis.
“It means so much, especially because it’s my senior year and it’s my last time being able to do this,” Olson said of the section title. “Knowing that the girls worked really hard and they wanted this as bad as I did, it felt really good.”
OSAKIS 7, BENSON 0
SINGLES: No. 1 -- Tia Dykema (O) def. Sophia Curriel 6-2, 6-0; No. 2 -- Lauren Scherr (O) def. Gracie Lenz 6-2, 6-2; No. 3 -- Alexa Lien (O) def. Alissa Maurer 6-2, 7-5; No. 4 -- Kennedy George (O) def. Anna Samuelson 6-0, 6-2.
DOUBLES: No. 1 -- Shea Olson-Camryn Hoffarth (O) def. Olivia Hoffman-Hannah Andrews 6-0, 6-1; No. 2 -- Mara VanNyhuis-Larissa Hoffarth (O) def. Stacy Johnson-Halle Bunde 6-4, 6-0; No. 3 -- Sydney Rach-Kadyn Triebenbach (O) def. Breanna Knutson-Susan Knutson 6-1, 6-3.
OSAKIS 4, MINNEWASKA 3
SINGLES: No. 1 -- Danielle Thorfinnson (M) def. Tia Dykema 6-4, 6-3; No. 2 -- Shea Olson (O) def. Hannah Orlowski 6-0, 6-0; No. 3 -- Lauren Scherr (O) def. Karra Hanson 6-3, 6-2; No. 4 -- Maddie Thorfinnson (M) def. Camryn Hoffarth 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
DOUBLES: No. 1 -- Greta Reichmann-Alissa Thorfinnson (M) def. Alex Lien Kennedy George 6-1, 6-2; No. 2 -- Mara VanNyhuis-Larissa Hoffarth (O) def. Annika Randt-Addy Randt 6-2, 1-6, 6-4; No. 3 -- Kadyn Triebenbach-Sydney Rach (O) def. Aliyah Bayer-Olivia Richards 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.