Dual-meet season ends for Tiger tennis team

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 8, 2003

HUTCHINSON &045; During the long ride home from Hutchinson, coach Sean Gillam and the Albert Lea High School girls’ tennis team had plenty of time to ponder their season.

The conclusion?

They wanted more.

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That was the attitude of the 2003 Tigers, according to Gillam, whose squad saw its dual-meet season end with a 6-1 loss at second-seeded Hutchinson in a Section 2AA semifinal meet Monday.

&uot;All good things must come to an end,&uot; said Gillam. &uot;It just happened to end tonight.&uot;

Plenty of good things happened this year, including a 7-2 Big Nine Conference record and 11-5 overall mark, and for the second year in a row they reached the final four of the section.

&uot;Once again, we were the last Big Nine team playing, besides Mayo, and that’s something to be proud of,&uot; said Gillam. &uot;A lot of hard work paid off with an 11-5 record. We had some great, great wins this year.&uot;

And the season isn’t completely finished as the Tigers will send three singles players and three doubles teams to the individual section tournament with hopes of qualifying for state.

Hutchinson, 22-0 after Monday’s meet, was to face top-seeded Waseca for the section team title.

The Tigers’ scores from the Hutchinson meet: No. 1 singles, Becky Birkhofer lost 6-2, 6-1; No. 2, Karen Leonard lost 6-1, retired; No. 3, Elizabeth Thompson lost 6-3, 6-2; No. 4, Dezeray Jacobson won 6-2, 7-5; No. 1 doubles, Nicole Rafdal and Ashley Helgerson lost 6-2, 7-5; No. 2, Amanda Rose and Kristin Wulff lost 6-1, 6-3; No. 3, Anne Trebil and Marisa Christopherson lost 6-1, 6-1.

&uot;If you had asked these girls at the beginning of the year how an 11-win season would be, they probably would have said, ‘Yeah, O.K., but we want more than that, let’s get more wins,’&uot; said Gillam. &uot;That’s just the type of players they are. That’s why they’re successful.&uot;

(Contact Jim Lutgens at sports@albertleatribune.com or 379-3437.)