The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

October 2, 2013

West girls tennis downs Chaska with revamped lineup

MANKATO — Mankato West senior tennis player Julia Snelson was out of her comfort zone Wednesday, and she couldn't have been happier.

The Scarlets took on Chaska in the semifinals of the Section 2AA, Southern Division Team Tournament where head coach Adam Doll decided to shuffle his lineup for the meet. Snelson, who normally plays No. 2 singles, joined with Andrea Erdman to play first doubles. The duo delivered a straight-set win and West rolled to a 6-1 victory.

"I love playing doubles with Andrea," Snelson said. "We've been playing singles all year so this is fun.

"We play doubles together during the summer but not very often during the high school season. We got more comfortable as the match went on today."

Snelson said the key to making the transition from singles to doubles is to remember the basics first and then build on them.

"You have to remember to hit the ball cross court, to serve wide and to come to the net," she said. "Once you get that down you can start to play your regular game."

Snelson and Erdman ended up winning 6-1, 6-0. The other two doubles teams — Ann Couglan-Melissa Lager and Maddie Mueller-Lia Spencer — also won in straight sets. Spencer also endured a transition of sorts as she normally plays with Emily Smith who was bumped up to first singles Wednesday.

"I thought Maddie and I played pretty well," said the senior Spencer, who is playing fulltime on varsity for the first time this year. "Our communication was good."

Spencer first went out for the tennis team in junior high where she played a lot of doubles with Smith. The two were reunited this year until Doll opted to change things up the last couple of matches.

"It's been fun playing with Emily again," Spencer said. "Overall I've had a really good time this year."

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