Tigers finish eighth at the conference meet

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 5, 2006

The fifth-seeded Albert Lea girls&8217; tennis team pushed fourth-seeded Hutchinson to the limit but came up just short, 4-3, in the opening round of team sections.

The Tigers pushed three of seven matches to three sets but came away winners in just one of them.

&8220;Those three matches were with three of my top players and even though we didn&8217;t get the win I would do it all over again,&8221; Albert Lea head coach Sean Gillam said.

Dezeray Jacobs set the tone for the day at No. 1 singles where she pushed her opponent to three sets and played well despite falling in three 3-6, 6-3, 5-7.

&8220;She played awesome, she was out there fighting and a point here or there in the third game would have been the difference,&8221; Gillam said.

Amanda Leonard also came up just short in a pair of hard fought sets at No. 2 4-6, 3-6. Hali Hendrickson was involved in three competitive sets winning the first 6-4 before dropping the next two 4-6, 6-7 (2-7).

&8220;Hali played her heart out and she always tries her best to put the team on her shoulders and carry it,&8221; Gillam said. &8220;When it comes down to a tiebreaker Hali is the one I want in that position over anyone. She always gives 100 percent.&8221;

Niki Hendrickson completed the singles competition with a dominating 6-3, 6-3 victory.

Cara Thorn and Liz Thompson were equally impressive in the No. 1 doubles match winning for the tigers in two sets 6-3, 6-2. Naomi Holt and Chelsea Hill faced a tough tandem at No. 2 and lost 6-0, 6-1 before Kelli Hanson and Sarah Wenum concluded the day with a 2-6, 7-6 (11-9), 6-3 victory in their first paring together of the season.

&8220;We moved our lineup around and Kelli and Sarah came through with a big win,&8221; Gillam said.

The Tigers finished the season with a 6-10 mark and now prepare for individual sections a week from Saturday.