By Shane Frederick
---- — ST. PETER — Julia Snelson and Andrea Erdman dropped the first set but bounced back to take the second. They lost the first three games of the third, but again, they wouldn't go away.
Trailing 4-5 in the decisive set, the Mankato West doubles duo found a way to win three straight games and launch themselves into the championship match of Section 2AA girls tennis individual tournament Tuesday at the Swanson Indoor Tennis Center.
While they lost in the finals, Snelson and Erdman qualified for next week's state tournament.
"They stayed calm and collected, and they fought through it," Scarlets coach Adam Doll said. "That was a true test of character."
Snelson and Erdman, the South Subsection's No. 1 seed, defeated the North's No. 2 seed, Minnetonka's Jeanne Kregness and Abby Steiger, 2-6, 6-4, 7-5.
Trailing 4-5, Erdman held serve to tie the match and, after breaking the Skippers' serve, Snelson closed out the match on serve.
Minnetonka's Bri Smith and Theresa Tebon, the North's No. 1 seed and last year's third-place team at state, won the section title 6-3, 6-2.
Snelson and Erdman will play in the state individual tournament at 10 a.m. on Oct. 24 in a the University of Minnesota's Baseline Tennis Center in Minneapolis.
"I figured in July that they had a shot (at state)," Doll said. "I thought those two were more collected and played much looser (than previous teams)."