By Jim Rueda
Free Press Sports Editor
ST PETER —
A more confident and aggressive Calleigh Carlson avenged a loss from earlier in the Section 2A girls tennis tournament to defeat United South Central’s Claire Christian 6-2, 6-0 in the single finals and earn a return trip to the Class A state meet.
Carlson, a senior at St. Peter, had played Christian last week in the team portion of the tournament and lost 6-2, 6-4. On Tuesday Carlson came out on the attack right away against Christian to earn the straight-set victory.
“Last week Calleigh was more tentative and Claire controlled the match,” St. Peter coach Aaron Rothenberger said. “Today she was more confident and tried to dictate the match. She did a very nice job.”
Carlson, who went to state last year as part of a St. Peter doubles team with Rachel Thompson, had also played Christian the first week of the season and won 6-2, 6-2.
“I just tried to be consistent and make her run around as much as I could,” Carlson said of the rubber match. “She’s a very good player. I tried to get inside her head as much as I could.”
Christian will join Carlson at state. She reached the finals with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 win over Waseca’s Maddie Muotka. Muotka went on to finish third with a 3-6, 6-0, 6-2 win over Sibley East’s Morgan Setterman.
Also going to state this year will be the Waseca doubles team of Abbe Hoehn and Alicia Knoll. The duo won their semifinal match 6-1, 6-2 against a tandem from USC and then won the section title with a 7-5, 7-5 win over Jordan’s Drew DeCorsey and Alex Hancock.
“We knew we had our work cut out for us in the finals,” Hoehn said. “We tried to keep it away from the lefty (DeCorsey) as much as could. She’s a very good player.”
Hoehn and Knoll started the year as the Bluejays’ No. 1 doubles team but Knoll moved up to singles after three matches. Since they began in the program together as freshmen, they decided to reunite one more time as seniors.
“We wanted to go out the same way we came in,” Knoll said. “This is how it started and this is how we want to end it.”
DeCorsey and Hancock advance to state as the runners-up from Section 2A.
The Bluejays’ Abby Collins and Shanly Nelson lost their semifinal doubles match 4-6, 7-6 (4), 7-5 and then rebounded to win the third-place match 6-4, 6-2 over USC’s Monica Bye and Kia Legred.
The Class A state team tournament begins Tuesday, Oct. 23. The singles and doubles tournaments begin Thursday, Oct. 25. All matches will be played at Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis.