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No. 7 St. James Area tennis tops Fairmont, 5-2

FOREHAND RETURN — Fairmont singles player Briana Joseph sprints toward the net to connect on a forehand return during Big South Conference tennis action at the Cardinal Courts in Fairmont. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — The Class A, No. 7-ranked Saints kept on rolling.

St. James Area beat the Fairmont Cardinals 5-2 in a Big South Conference tennis matchup at the Cardinal courts in Fairmont on Friday.

Second singles player Briana Joseph claimed one of Fairmont’s two points with win over Jaelyn Haler. Joseph was able to take the first set 6-3 after a winner that bounced off the top of the net and went straight down, before continuing on to take a 7-5 second-set decision.

Fairmont’s other team point came from the second doubles position where Ellie Hernes and Emily Hagen combined to defeat Sailor Mohlenbrock and Noel Wescott, 6-2, 7-5.

At first singles, Fairmont’s Claire Nemmers battled Ellie Becker through two extended sets. Nemmers and Becker needed a tiebreaker in the first set after Nemmers hit a forehand winner down the right sideline to force a 12th game. Becker took the 12th game to tie at 6, then outlasted Nemmers in the tiebreaker 7-3. Becker then went on to beat Nemmers 6-4 in the second set.

St. James Area’s Luci Kulseth outdueled Maggy Totzke at third singles for a 6-2, 6-4 win, while Mya Hanson needed three sets to beat Lauren Green at fourth singles.

Hanson took the first set 6-4, but Green turned the match when she began spraying shots across the court, forcing Hanson to cover each side, before hitting winners the other way to take the second set 6-1. Hanson outlasted Green in the third set, reversing the score and winning 6-1.

The Saints’ No. 1 doubles tandem of Samantha Tetzloff and Gabriela Trapero needed three sets to come back and beat Lauren Davis and Bergen Senf.

Senf and Davis eased to a 6-1 first-set win, before Tetzloff and Trapero collected a 6-4 second-set victory. The crews battled to a 12th game in the third set, but Tetzloff and Trapero were able to collect a 7-5 win.

At third doubles, St. James Area’s Alexia Whitney and Sofia Solorzano and the Cardinals’ Libby Totzke and Shannon Green battled to a first-set tiebreaker, that Whitney and Solorzano took 10-8 to give them a 7-6 first-set win. The Saints’ crew then took the second set by a 6-2 decision.

Fairmont (8-5) competes in the Mankato West Quadrangular today against Mankato West, Blue Earth Area and St. Peter starting at 9 a.m., while No. 7-ranked St. James Area (14-1) hosts an invitational today.

St. James Area 5, Fairmont 2

Singles: Ellie Becker (SJA) def. Claire Nemmers, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4. Briana Joseph (FMT) def. Jaelyn Haler, 6-3, 7-5. Luci Kulseth (SJA) def. Maggy Totzke, 6-2, 6-4. Mya Hanson (SJA) def. Lauren Green, 6-4, 1-6, 6-1.

Doubles: Samantha Tetzloff-Gabriela Trapero (SJA) def. Lauren Davis-Bergen Senf, 1-6, 6-4, 7-5. Ellie Hernes-Emily Hagen (FMT) def. Sailor Mohlenbrock-Noel Wescott, 6-2, 7-5. Alexia Whitney-Sofia Solorzano (SJA) def. Libby Totzke-Shannon Green, 7-6 (10-8), 6-2.

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