Two years ago, they made it to their first state tournament. Last year, they went undefeated only for COVID-19 to deny them a chance to return to state.

Now, the Patriots bring back plenty of experience and hope to repeat some of the success of the past few seasons.

“We feel like we made it to state last year - that we made it the last two years - and the goal, obviously, would be a three-peat,” head coach Monica Sergent said. “But we are very focused on just going one match at a time and seeing where that takes us.”

With the new season comes a move to Section 7-2A, which means new opponents and perhaps a greater challenge.

“Obviously we've worked hard in the offseason, and we’re ready to embrace the challenge,” Sergent said.

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In her 18 years with the program, Sergent has amassed 313 career wins against just 80 losses.

This year, she will rely on the experience of senior captains Megan Muller, Carly Chaney and Riley Fogarty, along with fellow letterwinners Ellie Ouradnik, Aubrey Wiczek, Jordan Gartner, Gabby Ziesemer and Eva Mumm.

Muller has been an anchor for the Patriots, competing in No. 1 singles matches since her freshman season. In 2019, she finished fourth at state as an individual. Last year, she was chosen the Patriots’ most valuable player for the third straight year. She compiled a 13-0 record as a junior, and now has a 76-10 career record.

The team is off to a strong start, winning their first 14 matches, but Sergent hopes her team - which she called “a really positive, hard-working group of girls” - take the season in stride.

“Our goal is always to improve every day, whether it’s in practice or matches, and do the little things right,” Sergent said. “We hope to be in the mix toward the end of the playoffs, but we aren't familiar with all the other teams so we're just going to do our best.”

Assistant coaches are Chad Rudbeck, Katrina Moody and Dan Van Blaricom. Sean Bengtson and Sage Stangel are middle-level coaches.



PL tennis

August

19 - Pequot Lakes at Crosby-Ironton 10 a.m.

20 - Hill-Murray, Osakis, TRF at Pequot Lakes 9:30 a.m.

23 - Pequot Lakes at Hibbing 10 a.m.

25 - Pequot Lakes at Pierz 9 a.m.

26 - Pequot Lakes at St. Cloud Tech 9 a.m.

27 - Pequot Lakes at St. Cloud Tech 10 a.m.

30 - Bemidji, Little Falls at Pequot Lakes 10 a.m.

31 - Pequot Lakes at Park Rapids 9 a.m.

September

2 - Pequot Lakes at Perham, 10 a.m.

10 - Glencoe-Silver Lake at Pequot Lakes 4 p.m.

11 - Pequot Lakes at Brainerd tournament 9 a.m.

20 - Park Rapids at Pequot Lakes 4 p.m.

21 - Crosby-Ironton at Pequot Lakes 4 p.m.

23 - Pequot Lakes at Staples-Motley 4 p.m.

27 - Pequot Lakes at Long Prairie/Sauk Centre 2 p.m.

28 - Pequot Lakes at Wadena-Deer Creek 4 p.m.

30 - Pequot Lakes at Detroit Lakes 4 p.m.