FAIRMONT - Better late than never.
Fairmont senior singles player Allison Moeller exited the Cardinal Courts for the last time in her stellar prep tennis career with the Cardinals' first team point on Wednesday.
Moeller's 'early' straight-set decision triggered a domino effect of points as No. 2-seeded Fairmont shut out the No. 7-seeded Lac qui Parle Valley Eagles, 7-0, during Section 3A team quarterfinal action in Fairmont.
SECTIONAL OPENER — Fairmont’s Ellie Tonder connects on a two-handed backhand return during Wednesday’s Section 3A Team quarterfinal tennis action at the Cardinal Courts in Fairmont. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)
SECTIONAL OPENER — The Cardinals’ Abby Fitzgerald (left) serves as doubles partner Sophie Shelgren awaits a return during sectional playoff action Wednesday in Fairmont. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)
Fairmont (15-3) advances to the sectional team meet semifinals against the winner between No. 3-seeded Montevideo and No. 6-seeded Yellow Medicine East next Wednesday at the Swanson Tennis Center on the Gustavus Adolphus College campus in St. Peter.
Lac qui Parle Valley, which featured only one senior in its starting lineup, ended the team portion of the season with a 5-12 record.
"I can't believe Alli is the first one off the court," Cardinal teammate and second singles netter Missy Viesselman said in a good-natured jest.
"I've finished second a couple of times before during this season, but it's a first in my last home match," Moeller said with a smile.
Fairmont's senior left-hander netted the red-and-white's initial team point via a 6-1, 6-0 decision over Molly Hacker at third singles before Viesselman exited the courts only a couple of minutes later.
Viesselman, one of the Cardinals' six starting seniors, chalked up back-to-back 6-1 set victories over Kamryn Siedschlag at No. 2 singles before joining Moeller outside the fence.
The senior doubles combination of Briana Gratz and Andrea Carstensen delivered Fairmont's third team tally by downing Katherine Bratsch and Marissa Gearman at the third spot in the bracket, 6-1, 6-2.
The four Cardinal seniors did not have long to wait for the meet-clinching point as senior teammate Aubrey Green produced a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Kylie Jahn at first singles to advance the No. 2-seeded lineup into the sectional team semifinals.
"We've had a couple of really good practices this week. We definitely needed to play well against Lac qui Parle (Valley) today to build some momentum going into the sectional semifinals next week," said Fairmont mentor Kathy Krezel.
Sophomore left-hander Ellie Tonder then served her way to a 6-2, 6-0 triumph over the Eagles' Ashtyn Oie at the fourth position in the singles bracket to widen Fairmont's lead to 5-0.
Senior Jill Paris and junior Shantel Quist then delivered the Cardinals' sixth team point by generating a 6-1, 6-2 decision over Courtney Hanson and Karissa Jahn at the No. 2 spot in the doubles division.
The junior No. 1 doubles tandem of Sophie Shelgren and Abby Fitzgerald then capped Fairmont's sweep by assembling a frenetic comeback to upend Kristyne Hamburg and Mary Savoy, 7-5, 6-1.
Trailing 5-1 in the opening set, Shelgren and Fitzgerald finally found their rhythm in Game 7 to reel off six unanswered game wins to pocket the first set.
Shelgren and Fitzgerald then clicked on all cylinders down the stretch to generate a 6-1 decision during the second set.
Section 3A Team Meet
Fairmont 7, LQPV 0
Singles: Aubrey Green (F) d. Kylie Jahn, 6-2, 6-2. Missy Viesselman (F) d. Kamryn Siedschlag, 6-1, 6-1. Allison Moeller (F) d. Molly Hacker, 6-1, 6-0. Ellie Tonder (F) d. Ashtyn Oie, 6-2, 6-0.
Doubles: Sophie Shelgren-Abby Fitzgerald (F) d. Kristyne Hamburg-Mary Savoy, 7-5, 6-1. Jill Paris-Shantel Quist (F) d. Courtney Hanson-Karissa Jahn, 6-1, 6-2. Briana Gratz-Andrea Carstensen (F) d. Katherine Bratsch-Marissa Gearman, 6-1, 6-2.
Luverne 6, Martin County West 1 - The No. 4-seeded Cardinals posted a 6-1 sectional quarterfinal victory over the No. 5-seeded Mavericks on Wednesday in Luverne.
Luverne advances to face No. 1-seeded and Class A, No. 3-ranked St. James next Wednesday in the sectional team semifinals at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter.
No individual results were reported.
Blue Earth Area 5, Tri-City United 2 - The No. 2-seeded Bucs swept the doubles bracket to help engineer a 5-2 Section 2A team quarterfinal triumph over the No. 7-seeded Titans on Wednesday at Schroeder Courts in Blue Earth.
Blue Earth Area (13-5) advances to face either No. 3-seeded St. Peter or No. 6-seeded Sibley East at 9 a.m. Monday in the sectional team semifinals at the Swanson Tennis Center on the Gustavus Adolphus College campus in St. Peter.
Natali Fellows and Karli Olsen got the Bucs on the scoreboard by posting a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Molly Tiede and Jessica O'Meara at the No. 1 spot in the doubles bracket.
Kali Viland and Annaliese combined court skills at third doubles to collect a 6-3, 6-2 win over TCU's Chase Arndt and Guadalupe Ruiz.
BEA's Beka Krussow and Paige Darrington, however, needed a third set to complete the home team's bracket sweep.
After losing their opening set to Emily Holicky and Kristi Frederick by a 6-4 decision, Krussow and Darrington flip-flopped the second set's score to even the match at one set apiece. Darrington and Krussow then outlasted Holicky and Frederick in the third and decisive set, 7-5.
Bucs' first singles netter Karleigh Wolff rolled to a 6-3, 6-0 decision over Breanna Jaycox, while teammate Anikka Wilhelmi posted back-to-back 6-1 set victories over the Titans' Rosa Ruiz at fourth singles.
Kori Lowe and Courtney Hentges generated TCU's pair of team points on the sectional quarterfinal. Lowe downed Kaitlyn Olsen, 6-0, 7-5, at second singles, while Hentges netted a 6-2, 6-1 third-singles decision over Lindsey Prokop.
Section 2A Team Meet
B.E. Area 5, TCU 2
Singles: Karleigh Wolff (BEA) d. Breanna Jaycox, 6-3, 6-0. Kori Lowe (TCU) d. Kaitlyn Olsen, 6-0, 7-5. Courtney Hentges (TCU) d. Lindsey Prokop, 6-2, 6-1. Anikka Wilhelmi (BEA) d. Rosa Ruiz, 6-1, 6-1.
Doubles: Natali Fellows-Karli Olsen (BEA) d. Molly Tiede-Jessica O'Meara, 6-2, 6-0. Beka Krussow-Paige Darrington (BEA) Emily Holicky-Kristi Frederick, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5. Kali Viland-Annaliese Klinkner (BEA) d. Chase Arndt-Guadalupe Ruiz, 6-3, 6-2.