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Albert Lea battles heat, Mankato East

Albert Lea's Rachel Wallin prepares to serve at No. 2 singles against Mankato East Thursday at Albert Lea. — Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

Albert Lea’s Rachael Wallin prepares to serve at No. 2 singles against Mankato East Thursday at Albert Lea. — Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

The combination of Mankato East on the other side of the net and a heat index that reached 98 degrees didn’t bode well for the Albert Lea girls’ tennis team.

The Cougars swept the Tigers 7-0 Thursday at Albert Lea.

“I was impressed with the way the girls continued to play hard despite the hot conditions,” said Albert Lea coach Tom Dyrdal. “We’ve come a long way since the opening practice of the season. Our focus will be on continuing to get more consistent as the season moves forward.”

The closest matches were at No. 2 singles and No. 3 doubles.

Albert Lea’s Rachael Wallin fell 7-5 and 6-2 at No. 2 singles.

“Rachael played a nice match,” Dyrdal said. “She had many shots that could’ve made the highlight reel.”

At No. 3 doubles, Katie Boettcher and Maddie Willey lost 6-0 and 7-6 with a 4-7 loss in the tiebreaker.

“I was pleased the way they played more aggressive doubles in the second set,” Dyrdal said.

Next, Albert Lea will play at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Red Wing.

The Tigers have four home matches remaining. Albert Lea will host Faribault at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 10, Mankato West at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 17 and a triangular with New Ulm and Marshall on Sept. 26. The Tigers will start the triangular against Marshall at 10 a.m. and end with a match against New Ulm at 2 p.m.