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Girls tennis teams to watch: Mayo, Lourdes both favorites

Mayo and Lourdes are the favorites to win and adance to state out of Section 1AA and 1A, respectively, in girls tennis tournaments that start this week.

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Mayo’s Audrey Aney returns the ball during a No. 1 doubles girls tennis match against Century on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021, at John Marshall High School in Rochester. Post Bulletin file photo / Traci Westcott

SECTION 1AA

Mayo (16-1): Mayo has lost just one match this season, that to No. 1-ranked Minnetonka, 5-2. The Spartans are ranked No. 2 in the state, behind Minnetonka. Mayo’s most impressive win came over Edina. The Hornets were ranked No. 2 at the time and hadn’t lost to Mayo since 2008. Mayo has one of the top players in the state in its singles lineup, freshman Claire Loftus. She's ranked fifth. Senior Sutton Julsrud is excellent at No. 2 singles.

Lakeville South (14-1): The Panthers are like Mayo in that they have only lost once, that to No. 1 Minnetonka. Lakeville South is ranked ninth in the state. Its top three players are senior Georgia Deml, sophomore Reese Burton and junior Michaella Sullivan. None of those players are top-10 ranked.

Century (10-4): Century is excellent at the top of its lineup where junior Paige Sargent and senior Julia Baber reside. Sargent has spent some time ranked in the state’s top-10 poll. Century played Mayo during the regular season and lost 6-1, all but one of those six setbacks coming in straight sets.

SECTION 1A

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Lourdes' Elyse Palen high-fives partner Taylor Elliott after a point during a No. 1 doubles match against Mayo on Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, at the Rochester Tennis Connection Outdoor Site. Post Bulletin file photo / Andrew Link

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Lourdes (13-4): The Eagles are the favorites here and it’s by a bunch. None of the teams in Section 1A have challenged Lourdes this season. At No. 1 singles, Lourdes has the No. 3-ranked player in the state, junior Ryann Witter, and is strong throughout its singles lineup. Lourdes is 13-4 overall, three of its losses to ranked teams from Class AA — Mahtomedi, Mayo and Benilde-St. Margaret’s. No. 1-ranked Class A team Breck beat Lourdes 5-2. Lourdes has won the Section 1A tournament 26 straight times.

Cannon Falls (5-5): The Bombers beat Lake City 5-2 earlier this season. Hannah Hjellming won out — barely — at No. 1 singles, beating Madeline Medvec in three sets. Also, Cannon Falls swept the doubles and won at No. 4 singles. Against Lourdes, Cannon Falls got wins at Nos. 2 and 3 doubles and lost 5-2.

Pat Ruff • Post Bulletin

Pat has been a Post Bulletin sports reporter since 1994. He covers Rochester John Marshall football, as well as a variety of other southeastern Minnesota football teams. Among my other southeastern Minnesota high school beats are girls basketball, boys and girls tennis, boys and girls track and field, high school and American Legion baseball, volleyball, University of Minnesota sports (on occasion) and the Timberwolves (on occasion). Readers can reach Pat at 507-285-7723 or pruff@postbulletin.com.
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