Girls State Class A Tennis | Lourdes 4, St. James 3

MINNEAPOLIS — This Rochester Lourdes girls tennis program is something else.

Just when you think it's finally hit a serious rebuilding stage, the Eagles make it back into the state Class A tournament. They accomplished that two weeks ago.

The Eagles then followed that up Tuesday afternoon by stunning No. 4-ranked St. James 4-3 in the first round of the state event at Read-Sweatt Tennis Center.

This is the same St. James team that beat Lourdes 6-1 on Sept. 15. Back then, these Eagles were looking nowhere close to the Lourdes teams that had reached the state tournament 16 straight years entering this season, and captured 12 state titles.

But the Eagles — ranked 12th in the state — have beautifully rounded themselves back into a power.


Lourdes takes a 13-6 record into Wednesday's 10 a.m. semifinals, where they'll meet 13th-ranked Annandale. Annandale beat unranked Virginia 4-3 Tuesday.

The Eagles will be favored to then make it back to the state finals for the third straight year. No. 1-ranked Blake, the state's defending champion, is also favored to reach the 4 p.m. finals. It plays No. 3-ranked Waseca in the other semifinal.

Lourdes and Blake also met in last year's finals, with Blake winning 6-1.

The Eagles got singles wins Tuesday from No. 1 player Sofia Terzic and No. 2 player Rachel Kamath, with Kamath's coming in three sets and an 8-6 tie-breaker. Lourdes also won at No. 1 doubles (Jessica Alexander and Rachel Morice) and No. 3 doubles (Ellen Gorman and Shannon Pederson). Gorman/Pederson won in three sets.

Lourdes' Grace Gorman and Elizabeth Hart barely fell at No. 2 doubles, losing in three sets after taking the first one 6-4.

Days before the state tournament, Lourdes coach Steve Tacl expressed his confidence about his players and their will to compete.

"Their mindset is that they're Lourdes, and that they don't lose at the state tournament without putting up a big-time fight," Tacl said. "Nothing will be easy for anyone playing us. We still believe that we'll be tough to beat."



Lourdes 4, St. James 3

Singles: Sofia Terzic (L) def. Aryn Eckstrom 6-4, 6-4; Rachel Kamath (L) def. Lorena Hernandez 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (8-6); Julia Boeve (SJ) def. Lucy Hansen 6-4, 6-2; Aubrey Eckstrom (SJ) def. Sydney Allison 6-0, 6-1. Doubles:Jessica Alexander/Rachel Morice (L) def. Michaela Nordby/Acacia Foss 6-2, 7-5; Megan Lahti/Michaela Nelson (SJ) def. Grace Gorman/Elizabeth Hart 4-6, 6-3, 6-3; Ellen Gorman/Shannon Pederson (L) def. Morgan Rankin/Hannah Christensen 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.

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