ALHS tennis girls subdue Austin

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 23, 2003

AUSTIN &045; It was cold, it was damp, and the Albert Lea High School girls’ tennis team was dealing with some illness and nagging injuries.

But it didn’t keep the Tigers from winning.

The ALHS girls extended their winning streak to eight Monday with a 4-3 Big Nine triumph at Austin, improving their record to 7-1 in the conference and 10-3 overall.

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&uot;Double-digits in wins seemed pretty elusive three years ago, most definitely,&uot; said head coach Sean Gillam. &uot;To get those 10 wins is pretty amazing.&uot;

And the Tigers have a chance to do something even more amazing &045; share the regular-season Big Nine championship. They can do it with a victory today over unbeaten Rochester Mayo, which visits the Southwest Middle School courts for a 4:30 dual meet with the Tigers.

Gillam was impressed with his squad’s showing Monday. &uot;The weather was bad, we have some colds and nagging injuries, and we’re still finding a way to win,&uot; he said.

The Tigers won two of four singles matches. Karen Leonard swept 6-3, 6-3 at No. 2 while Elizabeth Thompson rallied at No. 3 to win 1-6, 6-2, 6-3. Becky Birkhofer fell 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1 and Dezeray Jacobs lost 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 at No. 4.

Ashley Helgerson and Nicole Rafdal remained unbeaten in the Big Nine at 8-0, winning 6-3, 6-3 at No. 1 doubles.

Amanda Rose and Kristin Wulff pulled off remarkable rally at No. 2 doubles, splitting the first sets 6-3, 3-6 before falling behind 2-5 in the third. They fought off two match points and won five straight games to take the third set 7-5.

Anne Trebil and Marisa Christopherson lost 6-2, 6-4 at No. 3 doubles, their first Big Nine setback of the season.

&uot;We’ll face our toughest test yet in Mayo, but I really think we can play with them and I hope the girls aren’t going in there hoping for just two or three wins,&uot; said Gillam. &uot;Hopefully, we can pull it out.&uot;

(Contact Jim Lutgens at or 379-3437.)