October 14, 2010 at 9:31 a.m.

Wildcats finish season with 6-4 mark in NSC

Wildcats finish season with 6-4 mark in NSC
Wildcats finish season with 6-4 mark in NSC

The Chisago Lakes girls tennis team wrapped up their regular season with some thrilling matches, but they faltered once they hit postseason play early this week.

Chisago Lakes 7, Fridley 0

The Wildcats just overpowered the Tigers en route to the clean sweep.

There wasn't any points that were close, and the 'Cats were never in any danger of not sweeping Fridley.

It was still nice to get a North Suburban Conference win, however, according to Head Coach Corey McKinnon.

Totino-Grace 6, Chisago Lakes 1

This was a much closer match than the score indicated. "Both me and Dave Wareham (TG's Head Coach) thought this match was going to end at 4-3 in favor of one of our teams, but we weren't sure which one.

At the top two singles spots, Shannon Sullivan and Ashley Paul weren't able to overcome their talented counterparts, but McKinnon had nothing but praise for the junior pair. "They played some very good players from Totino, and they've played some top players all year," he said. "They've played very well for up and coming players, and I am so proud of the girls playing in these spots."

Kaylee Carlson dropped her match at fourth singles, but it was a long, defensive-minded match as they were one of the last off the court despite the score being 4-6, 2-6 in favor of the Totino fourth singles player.

At first doubles, Jaci Vitali and Ali Mohr lost after winning the first set. They went down 6-3, 4-6, 3-6.

At second doubles, Maddie Howard and Ali Borgstrom fell 5-7, 5-7, but McKinnon was thrilled with how the match went. "Coming up short never feels good, but these two girls showed up to play well, especially against two seniors from Totino," he said. "It went down to the wire, and I really think this match took these two to new levels."

The lone point on the day came from Claire Bakken and Kelsey Braski, but by then, the match had been decided in Totino's favor.

"They just won the key points, and experience really helped them," McKinnon said afterwards. "Looking at the scorecard, I can see three or four points that we could've won."

Princeton 4, Chisago Lakes 3

The Wildcats took on possible section opponent Princeton near the end of the season, and they put up quite the fight to make it 4-3, but a long match put the result into jeopardy as darkness fell.

Sullivan had a tough time with Princeton's top girl, as she is the top swinger in the Mississippi 8, a tough tennis conference.

Paul also went down, losing 4-6, 0-6. "She really played a good first set, but her opponent came out swinging in second set," McKinnon said.

Sammy Hindt won a thrilling come-from-behind match at third singles. She dropped the first set 3-6, but was able to storm back and win the next two sets 6-1, 6-2. "It looked bad early, but she didn't get rattled and made crucial shots to take the lead, and then she stepped on the gas and got her opponent out of her comfort zone," McKinnon said.

Carlson swept her opponent easily, winning 6-0, 6-0 in what was her finest match of the season, according to McKinnon.

After dropping their first set, Howard and Borgstrom went down early, 2-5, in the second set, but McKinnon preached positive energy to them on their changeover, and the girls started to hit their shots. All of a sudden they were down 4-5, then they were up 6-5, and although they lost a tiebreak, McKinnon was thoroughly impressed by their turnaround in the match, and thought it really exemplified their season.

Bakken and Braski faced a similar situation in the third doubles match. After winning the first set 6-3, they were cruising at 3-0 in the second set, but they hit a massive speed bump and started to miss their shots. The Princeton duo ended up winning the second set 6-4, and it left the third doubles team reeling heading into the third set.

Down 1-4 in the deciding set, McKinnon said he gave them the same positive energy talk that he gave his second doubles team, and they ended up winning the set 6-4.

With the match tied at three, the first doubles team knew it came down to them, as they were facing a very defensive-minded pair. The two teams were dead-even, as Vitali and Mohr won the first set 7-6 (9-7), but lost the second set 6-7 (7-9).

As darkness was falling, McKinnon and Princeton coach Jon Steinbrecher decided the third set had to be a super tiebreaker to fit the match in before it was unplayable because of nightfall.

Vitali and Mohr dropped the set 8-10, and were very disappointed, but McKinnon again only saw the positives. "They felt the pressure with everyone watch and they knew the match was on the line," he said. "Being young, they need experience in pressure spots. It was a great lesson in tennis and in life, and they'll learn from it."

Chisago Lakes 6, Columbia Heights 1

The Wildcats closed out their NSC schedule with a commanding win over Heights.

Much like the Fridley match, things were rarely troublesome for Chisago Lakes, as they finished a lot of the matches with ease.


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