Pequot Lakes junior Courtney Boller (32-4 overall) is state-bound after finishing second in the Section 7-1A individual singles tournament Tuesday, Oct. 16.
"I have played tennis since I was 5, so just to see all that hard work pay off feels amazing," she said.
Boller opened the tournament as the South's No. 2 seed and eliminated Duluth Marshall's Brenna Bollins 6-0, 6-2 in the opening round.
Boller then batted Virginia's Mary Skorich in the semifinals for a 6-3, 6-3 victory. In the team's match against Virginia the day before, she fell to Skorich 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.
"I had lost to her the night before, so I was really nervous going in. I just told myself to try my best and stay mentally strong," Boller said. "All my hard work paid off, but it still feels so surreal."
She then fell to the South's No. 1-seeded Lydia Adams of Pine City 6-2, 6-2 in the section championship match.
As the season began, Boller had not anticipated playing singles matches in the section individual tournament, as team's are allowed two singles players and Boller spent the season at No. 3 singles. However, Nos. 1 and 2 Megan Muller and Morgan Mudgett teamed up for doubles competition, coach Monica Sergent had plenty of confidence in Boller's abilities.
"Courtney's strengths are her consistent groundstrokes and her ability to get to almost every ball," Sergent said. "This year, her ball placement and pace variation has improved tremendously as well."
Muller-Mudgett opened with a 6-0, 6-0 blowout of Virginia's Bekah Davidson-Anneka Lundgren.
The pair then fell to Virginia's Anna Seitz-Ava Warren 6-1, 6-3 before rebounding and beating Duluth Marshall's Helen Orn-Claire Boettcher in the third-place match 6-0, 6-3.
"Megan and Morgan did an outstanding job as a doubles team to sweep through the subsections as champions and place third in sections--especially given the fact that they had not ever played one match together in competition before the individual tournament," Sergent said. "Their court speed, athletic ability and consistent groundstrokes carried them a long way through the brackets."
Boller will face Litchfield's Elise Bierbaum in the opening round of the state tournament at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25, at the Reed Sweatt Tennis Center in Minneapolis.
"I just want to stay positive," Boller said. "I know there are going to be a lot of good people there and I don't want to be scared away by that. I'm just going to try my best, and whatever happens happens."
Quarterfinal: Val Gall (Pierz) def. Allison Jondahl (Duluth Marshall) 6-0, 6-2; Semifinal: Lydia Adams (Pine City) def. Gall 6-1, 6-0; Third-place match: Mary Skorich (Virginia) def. Gall 6-4, 6-2
Quarterfinal: Courtney Boller (PL) def. Brenna Bollins (Duluth Marshall) 6-0, 6-2; Semifinals: Boller def. Skorich 6-2, 6-3; Championship: Adams def. Boller 6-2, 6-2
Quarterfinals: Megan Muller-Morgan Mudgett (PL) def. Bekah Davidson-Anneka Lundgren (Virginia) 6-0, 6-0; Semifinals: Anna Seitz-Ava Warren (Virginia) def. Muller-Mudgett 6-1, 6-3; Third-place match: Muller-Mudgett def. Helen Orn-Clarie Boettcher (Duluth Marshall) 6-0, 6-3
Quarterfinal: Seitz-Warren (Virginia) def. Kalyn Gritzmacher-Abby Andrea (Pierz) 6-0, 6-0
Quarterfinal: Orn-Boettcher (Duluth Marshall) def. Laura Skiba-Becky Langer (Pierz) 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2
Quarterfinal: Audrey Delich-Lydia Delich (Eveleth-Gilbert) def. Shelain Lewis-Kalina Spalj (C-I) 6-1, 6-1
Patriots 2nd in section
The top two seeds in Section 7-1A team tennis squared off and the North won again as Virginia bettered Pequot Lakes 5-2 Monday, Oct. 15.
Muller at No. 1 singles and Alexa Fyle-Ellie Saxerud at No. 1 doubles recorded the only wins for the Patriots in their match against Virginia.
In the semifinal round, Pequot eliminated Eveleth-Gilbert 4-3. Courtney Boller didn't drop a game in her No. 3 singles win and Madeline Pluimer won 6-0, 6-1 in her No. 4 singles win.
Virginia 5, Pequot Lakes 2
No. 1: Megan Muller (PL) def. Ana Seitz 6-3, 4-6, 10-7
No. 2: Ava Warren (V) def. Morgan Mudgett 2-6, 6-4, 3-10
No. 3: Mary Skorich (V) def. Courtney Boller 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
No. 4: Katie Scherf (V) def. Madeline Pluimer 6-4, 2-6, 7-5
No. 1: Alexa Fyle-Ellie Saxerud (PL) def. Anneka Lundgren-Jacie Smith 6-4, 4-6, 10-8
No. 2: Jayda Westerburg-Megan Kingston (V) def. Erin Bengtson-Madeline Sherman 6-3, 6-2
No. 3: Bekah Davidson-Izzy Baggenstoss (V) def. Morgan Lueck-Afton Crocker 6-1, 7-5
Pequot Lakes 4, Eveleth-Gilbert 3
No. 1: Lydia Delich (EG) def. Megan Muller 6-2, 6-3
No. 2: Morgan Mudgett (PL) def. Anna Beaudette 6-1, 6-0
No. 3: Courtney Boller (PL) def. Gianna Odella 6-0, 6-0
No. 4: Madeline Pluimer (PL) def. Hailey Tarr 6-0, 6-1
No. 1: Audrey Delich-Julia Lindseth (EG) def. Elli Saxerud-Alexa Fyle 6-1, 6-1
No. 2: McKenna Edstrom-Megan Larsen (EG) def. Erin Bengtson-Madeline Sherman 7-6 (7-3), 6-2
No. 3: Morgan Lueck/Afton Crocker (PL) def. Katelyn Torrell-Ashley Kuopus 6-1, 6-4