Tennis Tigers blank Faribault

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 10, 2002

More than once this season, coach Sean Gillam and the Albert Lea High School girls’ tennis team have settled for less than a victory, satisfied to make progress against some tough Big Nine foes.

That wasn’t nearly enough Monday.

The Tigers blanked Faribault 7-0, winning all seven matches in straight sets at Southwest Middle School. It was the second year in a row the Tigers shut out the Falcons and it improved Albert Lea’s record to 2-3 in the Big Nine.

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Gillam said that record could be better if the Tigers take the same attitude they had Monday into every meet.

&uot;The girls were confident,&uot; said Gillam. &uot;The key is to be confident against teams we haven’t beaten before. We still have the opportunity to do that.&uot;

The Tigers’ strength this year has been at doubles, but Monday’s singles scores were more lop-sided.

Becky Birkhofer shut out her opponent 6-0, 6-0 at No. 1, Karen Leonard cruised 6-1, 6-0 at No. 2, Jasey Porter won 6-2, 6-1 at No. 3, and Elizabeth Thompson prevailed 6-1, 6-2 at No. 4.

Ashley Helgerson and Nicole Rafdal got a 6-4, 6-3 victory at No. 1 doubles. Amanda Rose and Kristin Wolff won 6-1, 6-1 at No. 2. Nicole Merfeld and Elizabeth Schreiber triumphed 6-2, 6-4 at No. 3.

The Tigers’ junior varsity continued its success, winning 10 of 11 matches.

The Tigers travel to Rochester Mayo Thursday.