FARGO, ND — Mickey Clark and Macy Goochey knew their chance to qualify for the Class A women’s tennis tournament hinged on a semifinal doubles matchup against Katie Fiemeyer and Anna Fiemeyer of Wadena-Deer Creek.
The Fiemeyers beat the Park Rapids duo 6-3, 6-0 in their only meeting of the regular season to earn the No. 2 seed for the Section 8A tournament, held at Fargo’s Courts More. Clark and Goochey entered as the No. 3 seed.
The pursuit of straight-set wins in the first round and quarter-finals on Friday (October 14) set up Park Rapids’ pivotal semi-final game on Saturday (October 15). Goochey and Clark avenged that loss during the regular season and secured a trip to the state with a hard-fought 7-5, 0-6, 7-6 (7-4) win over the Fiemeyers to advance to the championship game.
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. This result prevented the Park Rapids duo from having to play a real second game.
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. The victory over the Fiemeyers locked a state spot for Goochey and Clark, who will go 20-5 to their first state tournament.
Goochey and Clark will make their official debut at 10 a.m. on Thursday, October 27 at the Reed-Sweatt Tennis Center in Minneapolis. The state tournament ends on Friday, October 28.
“At the start of the season, I knew they would have a chance to come forward, but the competition was going to be tough,” said Park Rapids head coach Brianne Morris. “Macy and Mickey played great games and knew they could do it. They also knew they had to play their best and stay mentally strong. helping each other in every game. They played very solidly in their first two games. The semi-finals were a very tough game, both physically and mentally, which made the final tough against Crookston’s side.
Park Rapids senior Morgan Koppelman narrowly missed qualifying for his first state tournament with a loss in a true second singles match.
Koppelman, the No. 2 seed, used a first-round bye; a 6-7 (2-7), 6-1, 6-4 win over No. 7 Abigail Borowicz of Crookston in the quarterfinals; and a 6-3, 6-2 win over Wadena-Deer Creek No. 3 Libby Hartman in the semifinals to reach the championship game. Staples-Motley’s Lauren Rutten backed up her No. 1 seed and the state’s No. 6 ranking by beating Koppelman 6-1, 6-1 for the title. Koppelman had to play a real second game when No. 4 Ronnie Noska of Staples-Motley beat Hartman 6-2, 6-3 for third place. Noska clinched the other state spot with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Koppelman.
“Morgan played amazing tennis all three days. We all hoped she would come through as well to declare,” Morris said. “She played a real mentally tough second game and was a bit short. Fabulous leader for the past few years and we are very proud of her game and the way she has performed on the pitch.
Other Park Rapids section entrances were eliminated early.
Shailyn Hayes, the No. 9 seed, opened the singles game with a 6-0, 6-0 win over No. 8 Zoe Johnson of Long Prairie-Grey Eagle before dropping a 6- 0, 6-0 against Rutten in the quarter-finals. .
Emmy Goochey and Abby Runyan entered as No. 10 doubles seeds and were eliminated with a 6-0, 2-6, 6-2 loss to No. 7 Halle Bruggemann and Kaylie Clauson of Crookston at the first round.
“I think Shailyn, Emmy and Abby also played good tennis,” Morris said. “Shailyn won her first match playing very solid tennis. In her second game, she played the No. 1 seed. Even though she lost, she played well. Abby and Emmy played a fantastic three set match against a good Crookston side. They worked hard and nearly pulled off the slight upset.
FARGO, ND — Third time wasn’t the charm for Park Rapids in the Section 8A Tag Team Tournament on Thursday, Oct. 13.
After beating Parkers Prairie for the third time this season, the Panthers lost to Crookston for the third time this season to finish the season with a 9-13 record.
Park Rapids entered as the No. 3 seed and eliminated No. 6 Parkers Prairie 5-2 in the quarterfinals before falling to No. 2 Crookston 6-1 in the semis. The Panthers beat Parkers Prairie 4-2, 6-1 while dropping a pair of 5-2 decisions to Crookston during the regular season.
Crookston started with a 7-0 win over No. 7 Long Prairie-Grey Eagle while No. 4 Wadena-Deer Creek took out No. 5 Roseau 7-0. 1 Staples-Motley beat W-DC 6-1 in the semi-finals and Crookston 4-3 in the league game to advance. Staples-Motley was ranked No. 8 and Crookston was ranked No. 9 in the state’s Class A poll.
In the win over Parkers Prairie, Koppelman, Hayes and Ella Ehler had straight sets victories in singles while Clark and Macy Goochey as well as Rachel Ulvin and Kate Dravis won back-to-back sets in doubles.
Macy Goochey and Clark won in straight sets in doubles No. 1 to explain the lone win over Crookston. Hayes lost a close match at No. 2 singles while Runyan and Emmy Goochey lost in three sets at No. 2 doubles.
“The team played well in the quarter-finals and semi-finals. The score against Crookston doesn’t show how well the girls played them,” Morris said. “We played some of the best tennis of the year. From where they were at the start until the last game, they showed incredible growth.