AUSTIN EDITION - L/P gets season started

ST. JAMES -- The Lyle/Austin Pacelli girls tennis team got its season underway at the St. James Tournament on Saturday.

Lyle/Pacelli was originally scheduled to open the season a week earlier, but a mix-up in the dates delayed the first match of the season. L/P will makeup that match with Stewartville later this week.

Pipestone defeated Lyle/Pacelli by a 7-0 count in the opening match of the day. Losses followed to Martin County West and St. James, both by 7-0 scores.

"We went 0-3 on the day, but there were a lot of positives for the first matches of the season," L/P coach Suzy Hebrink said. "Pipestone is traditionally quite a tough team and we put up a good battle."

Playing at No. 1 singles for L/P was Gretchen Hebrink and she lost 5-1, 6-4. At No. 2 singles, Livja Burke came even closer but lost 6-5 (7-2), 5-0 in straight sets against the Pipestone girl.


L/P lost to Martin County West in the second match and once again the closest matches were at the top two singles spots. Gretchen Hebrink lost 6-4, 5-3, at No. 1 singles. Livja Burke lost 5-3, then won the second game 5-2, and lost 10-4 in the tie-break.

All the other L/P girls with experience rotated on doubles and singles play. Lizzy Gunther, Marta Burke, and Alison Johnson rotated between the No. 3 singles spot and No. 1 doubles.

"Those girls did very well and they scored a lot of points in some close games," coach Hebrink said. "With the rotation in spots, the girls got a tremendous amount of experience and it's exactly what we needed.

"They're tough teams that we played. St. James is favored to win their section and go to state, so we got tested. For our first time out this season, the girls played well."

In the final match of the day, L/P lost to St. James. There were only two game wins in the whole match for L/P. Hebrink won one a game in singles and the No.1 doubles team won a game.

"It was hot and the girls played hard," the coach concluded. "They did a great job against the toughest competition we'll see all year. The only match win we had on the day didn't count.

"Sophie Hebrink and Nina Carney are too young for the varsity team, but they played at the fourth doubles spot and won a match. Carmen Smith and Sara Blake got in their first match ever and played well. After practicing for over a month it was time to play some matches."

L/P (0-3) is scheduled for a 4 p.m. match on Tuesday at Stewartville and the home opener is set for Thursday against Lake City.

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