Girls’ Tennis Advancing in Sections

Meredith McCrady, Sports Editor

Girls’ tennis served up a spectacular start to the team’s 2014 postseason. Seeded number 2 in the South Suburban Conference, the Lady Cats earned the right to play fifteenth seeded Bloomington Kennedy. Taking advantage of their seeding, our girls went out and won all seven matches.

Senior Captain Linde Schafer says this post season has “a lot of potential,” and that the primary goal, “is to advance all the way to section finals as a team, and, hopefully defeat number one Prior Lake.” Early in the regular season, our girls faced off against Prior Lake and suffered a disappointing 7-0 loss. However, Captain Schafer is still hopeful about her team’s chances at success. “[The team] has worked really hard at keeping a positive attitude on and off the court,” she says, adding, “We’re a very tight-knit group and we work well together.”

Her doubles partner and co-captain, Lindsey Harford, agrees with Schafer. “We treat our younger classmen really well; we make sure they’re always included.” For good reason, too. The top two singles positions go to Sammie Nichols, a freshman, and Lauren Ferg, an eighth grader. At least five others on the team this year are also lowerclassmen, including singles sophomore Raechel Murray and doubles eighth grader Harika Thota. With so much depth, it is clear that Coach Scott Nichols will have many good years to come.

While most players are giving it their all for the team, others are gearing up for a much different challenge. Every year at sections, two singles players and two doubles pairs are chosen from each school to play in the individuals bracket. This year, Nichols and Ferg will play singles, with the intent to advance past sections and on to state. The doubles duos, on the other hand, are Anusha Arcalgud/Linde Schafer and Lindsey Harford/Raechel Murray; they will compete in the individuals tournament as well.

Now in her third year of varsity tennis, Nichols talks about her personal expectations for sections. “Goals for sections would be to beat Savannah Crowley,” who plays in singles for Prior Lake and beat Nichols earlier this year. However, this young player refuses to let anyone stand in her way, clearly stating “I’ve beaten her before in a club match, but never during a high school season.” Hoping to add another impressive win to her already lengthy high school career, Nichols will compete on the 13th and 14th of October.

The team’s next match is Thursday, October 2. Get out there and support our girls as they take on 7th seeded Rosemount.