Gallery: USC girls’ tennis team defeats Albert Lea
Published 4:52 pm Monday, August 25, 2014
After its first nonconference match of the season, the Albert Lea girls’ tennis team remains in search of its first win.
The Tigers fell 7-0 Monday against an experienced United South Central squad that qualified for the Class A state tournament as a team last year and returned both members of a state-qualifying doubles team.
USC won each singles match in two sets.
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Both members of the state-qualifying doubles team — Kia Legred and Linsey Thisius — competed in singles.
Legred moved up from her spot at No. 3 singles last year to the No. 1 spot and defeated Albert Lea’s Mercedes Saltou 6-0, 6-0.
“Kia Legred is a very intelligent, focused player,” said USC coach Gary Hagen. “She goes out and gets the job done.”
Last season at the individual state tournament, USC’s doubles team of Legred and Thisius beat a team from Litchfield before falling to the state-runner up from Breck. At the team state tournament, Staples-Motley — the eventual third-place finisher — eliminated the Rebels in the quarterfinals.
At No. 2 singles, Thisius won 6-0, 6-4 against Albert Lea’s Kaitlynn Larson. Tigers coach Matt Levorson said he was impressed with how Larson improved in the second set.
“She tried to make a comeback and almost took it to a third set,” he said. “To rebound in that second set — that’s admirable.”
The most competitive match of the afternoon was at No. 2 doubles.
Albert Lea’s Anna and Katie Boettcher won the first set 6-4.
“They played really well, and their strategy was good,” Levorson said.
However, USC’s Wendy Martinez and Leah Meyer came back to win the second set 6-2 and the match with a 6-3 victory in the third set. Hagen talked with Martinez and Meyer after the first set, and he said they were able to make adjustments.
“The kids are growing and taking things we’ve been practicing to heart,” he said. “That’s good to see.”
Next, Albert Lea hosts Blue Earth at 4:30 p.m. today. USC’s next match is at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Statistics are in the Scoreboard: Aug. 25 post.