BRIEFS Tennis Center to host powerful invitational
The Rochester Outdoor Tennis Center will be oozing with talented high school girls tennis players on Saturday, as it plays host to the power-packed eight-team Pat Lamb Invitational.
The event, which begins at 9 a.m. and finishes around 5 p.m., includes nine-time defending state Class AA champion Edina, and nine-time state defending Class A champion Rochester Lourdes. It also includes a bunch of top-10 Class AA ranked teams, including Rochester Mayo, Eden Prairie, Hopkins, Mahtomedi and Mounds View.
Edina is the favorite, though it will be without its top player, Whitney Taney. Taney, a senior who has never lost a high school match, is making a recruiting visit to the University of Michigan.
"I think even without (Taney) that Edina is still a little bit above everyone else in this tournament," Mayo coach Dave Edwards said.
It is the third time that Edwards has been the host to the meet, which is a large source of pride for the Mayo coach.
"To get this many teams coming to our place to play in a tournament like this, that says a lot (about the power of Rochester tennis)," Edwards said.
-- Pat Ruff
Volleyball gets rolling with invitational events
The volleyball season hits full stride tonight and Saturday with a bunch of local teams entered in invitational tournaments.
In tournaments beginning tonight and continuing tomorrow, Stewartville (No. 1 in Class AA) and Byron (No. 8 in AA) are at the Apple Valley Invitational; Austin and Lake City are at the Mankato West Invitational at Minnesota State Univesity; and Owatonna is at the Marshall tournament.
All of those tournaments continue Saturday, and several other one-day tournaments begin:
Mayo is at the Osseo Invitational; Lourdes is at Red Wing, along with Northfield, Winona and Faribault Bethlehem Academy (No. 2 in A); Lewiston-Altura, Goodhue, Albert Lea, Southland and Lyle/Austin Pacelli are at Hayfield; Pine Island, Kingsland, St. Charles and Waseca are at Lanesboro; Cannon Falls and Triton are at Montgomery-Lonsdale; Fillmore Central is at Lanesboro.
-- Donny Henn
JM swimmers talented, but lack depth
The Rochester John Marshall girls swimming and diving team has some talented athletes this season. They have little trouble in winning several events at every meet.
The problem the Rockets have is winning the meets. After their basic core of swimmers, there just aren't very many girls left who can finish second or third or fourth to score points.
This year's JM roster shows 21 swimmers. Fourteen of those are sophomores or below, and there are only two seniors.
"Zero depth," said veteran coach Paul Bachman.
If it weren't for the co-op agreements with Rochester Lourdes and Byron, the Rockets would be even smaller in size.
-- Steve Webb
Bahnemann terrific in Elite League
Rochester Lourdes senior hockey player Brandon Bahnemann had a fantastic opening weekend in the Upper Midwest High School Elite League.
Bahnemann, a forward entering his senior season, is tied for second place in scoring. In three games, Bahnemann had three goals and two assists, leading Team Southeast to a 1-2-0 record
Joining Bahnemann on Team Southeast are Century's Bryce Wilcox (defenseman), Joe Knoepke (forward), Garrett Grimstad (forward) and Colin Briscoe (forward), and Lourdes' Eric Amundson (forward).
The Elite League, which features many of the best high-school-aged players in the Midwest, returns to action Saturday and Sunday with all games at New Hope Arena. For the first time in the league's five-year history, a team from outside the U.S. will compete in league play. NGT Frisk from Norway faces Wisconsin at 1 p.m. Saturday.
-- Ben Pherson
JM soccer team turns to youth
Two of the Rochester John Marshall boys soccer team's top players, at least offensively, are turning out to be a pair of youngsters. Sophomore forward Omar Gargar has been JM's top goal scorer, with five goals, with freshman Adal Badal just behind him with three.
Gargar, who didn't play with JM last year, has been a nice surprise for Rockets coach Tony Birch.
"Gargar is extremely creative," Birch said. "He plays very well with his back to the goal and feeds the ball to teammates that way. I heard that he was a good player, but I am a little bit surprised that he is doing as well as he is."
-- Pat Ruff