Filling the spots left by the graduation of the top four players will dictate the success of the Park Rapids women’s tennis team this season.
The Panthers have four key spots to fill with the graduation of Abby Morris, Rachael Herman, Emily Schulz and Natalie Harvey.
Morris qualified for her second trip to the Class A state tournament in singles as a Section 8A runner-up, finishing the season with a 10-4 record at No. 1 in singles, an 8- 1 at No. 1 in doubles and a 4-3 playoff record for a 22-8 overall record to finish his career with a 122-53 record. Morris was named team MVP and earned Mid-State Conference honors.
Herman posted 7-1 in singles No. 1, 4-5 in singles No. 2 and 4-1 in doubles No. 1 with a 1-1 record in singles at the sectional tournament for an overall record of 16-9. Herman was also a Mid-State Conference player.
Schulz compiled a 14-11 overall record going 1-3 at No. 2 singles, 1-0 at No. 1 doubles, 11-7 at No. 2 doubles and 1-1 in sectional tournament doubles. Schulz received an honorable mention from all conferences.
Harvey was 11-12 overall with a 5-6 record in singles No. 3, a 1-0 record in singles No. 4 and a 5-6 record in doubles No. 2.
Those four players led the Panthers to a 15-5 overall record in doubleheaders and the No. 1 seed for the Section 8A tournament. Park Rapids’ primary goal of qualifying for state as a team faltered with a 5-2 loss to No. 4 Wadena-Deer Creek in a sectional semifinal game. Crookston defeated W-DC 5-2 for the Section title and a State spot. Park Rapids was ranked No. 17 in the state’s latest Class A poll.
They’re counted on to lead the Panthers this season, with six returning starters: seniors Mickey Clark, Macy Goochey and Morgan Koppelman; and sophomores Emmy Goochey, Shailyn Hayes and Abby Runyan.
I want the girls to keep improving with every game so that we are competitive when we play.
Koppelman posted an 18-7 overall record, going 4-4 at No. 2 singles, 8-1 at No. 3 singles, 2-1 at No. 1 doubles, 3-0 at No. 2 and 1 doubles -1 in duplicate at Section Meeting by earning honorable mention honors from all conferences.
Clark collected records of 0-1 in singles No. 1, 1-0 in singles No. 2, 7-7 in doubles No. 1, 3-0 in doubles No. 2 and 2-2 in doubles at the tournament of section for an overall record of 16-11. Clark was another honorable mention player from all conferences.
Macy Goochey had an 18-9 overall record at four different places, going 1-0 at No. 2 singles, 0-1 at No. 3 singles, 8-5 at No. 1 doubles and 7-1 at No. 2 doubles. 2 while going 2-2 in doubles in the sectional encounter. Goochey received honors from all conferences.
Hayes primarily played No. 4 singles, going 12-5 at that position. Hayes also went 2-2 at No. 3 singles and 2-0 at No. 3 doubles for a 16-7 record.
Emmy Goochey and Runyan have held third place in doubles for most of the season, going 12-10 as doubles partners. The two also won a No. 4 singles match for a record 13-10 overall.
Sophomore Destiny Haddy also saw college time with an 0-3 record at No. 4 in singles.
Koppelman will move to first place in singles, with Hayes taking over to second in singles. Clark and Macy Goochey will move to number 1 in doubles while Emmy Goochey and Runyan will play number 2 in doubles.
Last season, Park Rapids players went 17-6 at No. 1 singles, 11-12 at No. 2 singles, 15-8 at No. 3 singles, 15-8 at No. 4 singles, 15-8 at No. 1 doubles, 16-7 at No. 2 doubles and 13-10 at No. 3 doubles.
“We have big vacancies to fill with the graduations of four seniors, including two who had been in college for 5-6 years,” said Morris, who will be assisted by Lane Miles. “It will be a good year for our underclassmen to step up and learn from the three seniors. I want the girls to keep improving with every game so that we are competitive when we play.
Juniors Lauren Cunningham will look to fill the other four starting spots and provide depth for college; sophomores Ella Ehler, Kate Dravis, Rachel Ulvin, Nora Bolton, Emma Berghuis, Natalie Berghuis, Isabel Nevela and Bella Vinge; and freshmen Jalen Hensel and Sophia Gauthier.
How returning players adapt to their new roles and how well new varsity players improve throughout the season will determine the Panthers’ success this fall.
“It will definitely be a learning year for us, but many schools in the section and conference have also lost their best players, so hopefully we can compete with each of the teams in our section/conference,” said said Morris. “Nothing will be easy, but I know we have very competitive girls. We certainly have a chance to send people to the state meeting.