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 sectional 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 saved the Park Rapids duo from having to play a proper 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 victory, 6-2 over No. 6 Kenzie Erickson and Elizabeth Digovanni of Staples-Motley in the quarter-finals. The semifinal victory sends Goochey and Clark to their first state tournament with a 19-5 record.
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.
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 won the other state spot with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Koppelman.
Other Park Rapids section entrances were eliminated early.
Shailyn Hayes, the No. 9 seed, started 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.
In the Section 8A tag team tournament on Thursday, October 13, Park Rapids entered as the No. 3 seed and knocked out No. 6 Parkers Prairie 5-2 before falling to No. 2 Crookston 6-1 in the semi-finals. 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.
Park Rapids finished the season with a 9-13 record.