Osakis’ Tia Dykema has been a regular at the state singles tournament in tennis, and this year is no different.
Dykema, a junior, secured her fourth straight trip to state when she won the Section 6A individual title on Oct. 15.
She has locked up in some battles with Minnewaska’s Danielle Thorfinnson for that top spot in the section, but Thorfinnson joined her sister, sophomore Alissa Thorfinnson, in winning the doubles title this year.
Dykema was methodical in all four of her matches. She won all of them in straight sets, including a 6-4, 6-3 win over Kori Douglas of Montevideo in the championship.
“What stood out for Tia was her ability to keep calm when her opponents in the semis and finals were putting some games on the board versus her,” Osakis head coach Ryan Maddock said. “Her experience in those situations showed as she didn't panic and stayed within herself and found a way to win. She did a great job of changing tactics to keep her opponents off guard.”
Dykema will be joined at state by the doubles team of Mara VanNyhuis and Camryn Hoffarth. VanNyhuis and Hoffarth dominated their first two matches, winning 6-1, 6-0 and 6-0, 6-0. They were pushed by Minnewaska’s Greta Reichmann and Annika Randt in the semifinals, but still won in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5.
That sent the Osakis duo to the finals against the Thorfinnson sisters. VanNyhuis and Hoffarth pushed them in the first set but fell 7-6. Danielle and Alissa took control from there and won 6-0.
The second-place finish for Hoffarth and VanNyhuis earned them their first trip to state together as a doubles team. Hoffarth made it to state in doubles a year ago when she teamed up with then-senior Shea Olson.
“Camryn and Mara played a great tournament,” Maddock said. “They are a good combo, as they are both athletic players who can move well. They get up to the next as a pair and put a lot of pressure on their opponents. They did a great job during the tourney of just playing the game to win without getting caught up in any negative emotions that sometimes can derail other players. They both have above average first serves that cause opponents problems.”
Hoffarth and VanNyhuis will take on Haley Cichos and Jenna Dvorak, juniors from Staples-Motley, in their opening match at state on Oct. 24 at 10 a.m. The Thorfinnsons will play Crookston juniors Catherine Tiedemann and Emma Borowicz at that same time.
Dykema takes on junior Greta Nesbit of LeSueur-Henderson in her opening match at 8 a.m. on Oct. 24.
The singles and doubles tournaments take place at the Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis.