Mickey Clark and Macy Goochey started the season determined to finish the season at the state’s Class A women’s tennis tournament.
The Park Rapids senior duo accomplished the feat at the Section 8A tournament at Fargo’s Courts Plus on October 15.
After finishing fourth in doubles at last year’s sectional meet, Goochey and Clark entered this year’s sectional meet with confidence despite being the No. 3 seed.
“It was really important (to qualify for the state),” Goochey said. “I didn’t want the sections to be the end. I knew we could do it. I was confident.
“Our goal after last year was to be there this year,” Clark said. “We were quite close (to qualifying) last year, so we set ourselves that target at the start of this year. We definitely had confidence that we were going to do it.
The senior Park Rapids duo opened section play with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Long Prairie-Grey Eagle No. 14 Kylie Kraska and Elizabeth Bitz and followed that up with a 6-2 win, 6-2 over No. 6 Kenzie Erickson and Elizabeth Digovanni of Staples-Motley in the quarter-finals on October 14.
Those two wins set the stage for a semi-final showdown against Katie Fiemeyer and Anna Fiemeyer of Wadena-Deer Creek, the No. 2 seed who beat Clark and Goochey in straight sets (6-3, 6-0 ) during the regular season.
After winning the first set 7-5, the Park Rapids pair were in trouble after the Fiemeyers rallied to win the second set 6-0 and take a 4-1 lead in the third set. Goochey and Clark regrouped and rallied to win the game 7-6 with a 7-4 tiebreaker advantage.
“I was super nervous. We’ve lost to them before, but we knew we could do it,” Goochey said. “It was such a relief to beat them. There was so much pressure. I think we were overconfident after winning the first set. After winning the second set, it was do or die. I didn’t want this to be the end. It was our last chance and we had to fight for it.
“We lost to them earlier, so we knew it was going to be a big battle,” Clark said. “We were definitely nervous, but we knew how they played, so we had more strategy and attacked their weak points. The third set was very tight. I’m super glad we released it.
“The girls were so excited to face the Fiemeyers again,” Morris said. “Macy and Mickey knew the Fiemeyers were having a great year and were great players, but Macy and Mickey also knew that if they played hard and stayed mentally in the game, they could avenge their loss at the start of the season. .”
Despite being denied the Section title with a 6-2, 6-2 loss to top seeds Halle Winjum and Emma Gunderson of Crookston, Clark and Goochey won the other State spot when the Fiemeyers beat Roseau’s Jessie Danielson and Erin Brandt 6-1, 7-6 (7-5) in the third-place game. That result meant the Park Rapids duo wouldn’t have to play a real second game for the other state spot.
The victory over the Fiemeyers locked a state spot for Goochey and Clark, who will go 20-5 to their first state tournament. The Park Rapids duo will take on top seeds Petra Lyon and Breck’s Witt Mehbod at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 27 at the Reed-Sweatt Tennis Center in Minneapolis. The state tournament ends Friday (October 28).
“It will be our last time playing,” Goochey said. “We’re just going to have fun.”
We start with the mentality of overcoming challenges and going as far as we can,” Clark said.
“We’ve told them to stay mentally strong all season and we’ve seen them grow and improve all year,” Morris said. “I expect Macy and Mickey to go to the state meet, play hard and have fun. They’ve worked hard over the past few years to get to the state and now they just want to enjoy the ‘experience.