Tennis Tigers fall to another tough opponent

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 27, 2002

WASECA &045; Here’s a strange twist.

The Albert Lea High School girls’ tennis team opens Big Nine Conference play today, and things actually figure to get a little easier for the Tigers.

&uot;We have played probably the two toughest teams on our schedule, even including (Rochester) Mayo,&uot; said coach Sean Gillam.

Email newsletter signup

The latest was Waseca Monday and it was the same result as last week’s season opener against United South Central, a 7-0 loss.

Gillam said the Tigers again looked better than the score indicates.

&uot;We played pretty well,&uot; he said. &uot;We have gotten a lot of compliments from coaches and parents that we’re looking a lot better than in the past. I like the way the girls are staying positive.&uot;

For the second time, the No. 1 doubles duo of Ashley Helgerson and Nicole Rafdal stayed in their match for three sets, falling 56-1, 2-6, 6-2.

Nicole Merfeld and Elizabeth Schreiber played a strong second set at No. 3 doubles while losing 6-0, 7-5. The No. 2 team of Amanda Rose and Kristin Wulff lost 6-1, 6-2.

Singles results: No. 1, Becky Birkhofer lost 6-1, 6-2; No. 2, Karen Leonard lost 6-1, 6-2; No. 3, Jasey Porter lost 6-0, 6-0; No. 4, Alison Sabinish lost 6-0, 6-0.

&uot;Helgeson and Rafdal played well again,&uot; said Gillam. &uot;I was also happy with our No. 3 doubles; they led 5-4 in the second set. We’re just not closing out.&uot;

The Tigers’ Big Nine opener is today at 4:30 at Owatonna, which lost 5-2 to United South Central Monday and earlier lost 5-2 to Waseca.