Back-to-back state tournament appearances put the Osakis girls tennis team on the map. After the recent years of high-level play at the Class A level, Class AA teams are coming to town to see what the Silverstreaks are made of.
With the wind howling, Osakis fell 5-2 in an important early-season test against Thief River Falls on Thursday morning.
“The girls have done such a good job in previous years that now people want to come here and play us,” head coach Ryan Maddock said. “It’s been nice going up against different levels of competition. It’s been great for the program.”
Tia Dykema won her No. 1 singles match over Emma Fagerstrom, 6-2, 6-2. Larissa Hoffarth won the second Osakis matchup in the No. 4 singles position. She beat Bell Hamre 6-1, 6-3.
As a veteran on the roster, Dykema hopes that she can be counted on each match.
“For me, I want to be the anchor for the team,” she said. “We all want to make it back to the state tournament, and I want to do what I can to help us get there and get through a few more rounds there.”
Osakis was bested by TRF in all three doubles matches. The Prowlers’ aggressive style of play forced Osakis into some bad swings.
“They get both girls up to the net in doubles,” Maddock said. “That puts a lot of pressure on our girls because they don’t see a lot of that. I thought we were fine. They started adjusting to their style of play.”
The wind played a factor in the seven matches. The ball moved unpredictably on softer shots – forcing both teams into uncomfortable swings.
“It felt good to get a win against a good player and with this wind,” Dykema said. “One thing I always tell myself is that the other player has to play in the wind too. I just try not to let it get to me and control what I can control.”
Despite the loss, Maddock was excited to see TRF come to Osakis. With a tougher schedule, he is taking a different approach to how he views wins and losses.
“We feel good about how the season has gone so far,” Maddock said. “We’ve stressed that we are going to play people that will take it to us if we don’t show up to play. We’ve played some tough teams already, so we aren't too concerned about the wins and losses. We have 15 girls that we are trying to get in there against good teams. There’s a lot of moving parts right now but we feel good about the team we have.”
The Silverstreaks didn’t hang their heads for long. They got back in the win column on Thursday night when they swept St. John’s Prep/St. Cloud Cathedral and Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa in a separate home triangular. Osakis is 6-2 on the season.
One thing that makes this Osakis team so strong is the chemistry throughout the team.
“Any of us can play with anybody,” Dykema said. “We all love to be here and be with each other, and I think that helps us out there. We are working as a team all the time and that’s how we made it to state.”
The goal for the Silverstreaks is to return to a section championship match. With a handful of players having the experience of playing in the state tournament, the road back to Minneapolis is a familiar one.
“We always say that making it to the section championship is a dream,” Maddock said. “When we get there, anything can happen. The state tournament is still a dream. I don’t think our girls took that for granted, but they know what it takes to get there.”
THIEF RIVER FALLS 5, OSAKIS 2
SINGLES- No. 1 - Tia Dykema (O) def. Emma Fagerstrom 6-2, 6-2: No. 2 - Ava Yuska (T) def. Alexa Lien 6-4, 6-1; No. 3 - Brooklyn Broadwell (T) def. Kennedy George, OSAKIS SECONDARY, 6-1, 6-4; No. 4 - Larissa Hoffarth (O) def. Bell Hamre (T) 6-1, 6-3;
DOUBLES- No. 1 - Khloe Lund - Isabela Nelson (T) def. Camryn Hoffarth - Mara Vannyhuis 6-2, 7-5; No. 2 - Gabriella Steele - Brea Prickett (T) def. Sydney Rach - Kadyn Triebenbach 7-6 (5), 6-3; No. 3 - Brooklyn Brouse - Abby Flaagan (T) def. Brittany Dietrich - Helena Zajac 6-3, 6-2
OSAKIS 7, BBE 0
SINGLES- No. 1 - Alexa Lien (O) def. Paige Prentice 6-0, 6-0 No. 2 - Kennedy George (O) def. Annika Heieie 6-3, 6-0 No. 3 - Larissa Hoffarth (O) def. Veronica Jackson 5-7, 6-1, 10-7; No. 4 - Ellie George (O) def. Tori Reed 6-0, 6-0
DOUBLES- No. 1 - Sydney Rach - Kadyn Triebenbach (O) def. Chandler Tebrake - Kylie Terhaar 6-2, 6-3; No. 2 - Brittany Dietrich - Helena Zajac (O) def. Olivia Thieschafer - Katie Weller 6-2, 6-0; No. 3 - Makenzie Lien - Lexi Spychalla (O) def. Claire Eckstein - Hannah Lee, 6-0, 6-4
OSAKIS 7, SJP/SCC 0
SINGLES- No. 1 - Tia Dykema (O) def. Olivia Bauerly 6-1, 6-0; No. 2 - Camryn Hoffarth (O) def. Sami Severnak 6-0, 6-0; No. 3 - Mara Vannyhuis (O) def. Miranda Curnutt 6-0, 6-0; No. 4 - Lexi Spychalla (O) def. Regan Ebert 6-3, 6-0;
DOUBLES- No. 1 - Alexa Lien - Ellie George (O) def. Lucy Cheeley - Morgan Rolph 6-1, 6-3; No. 2 - Brittany Dietrich - Helena Zajac (O) def. Aryanna Speaks - Kelsey Christensen 6-0, 6-1; No. 3 - Jayden Hensley - Hatti Schmitbauer (O) def. Isabelle Anderson - Emma Parrries 6-2, 6-0