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Fairmont tennis team sails by River Valley

RETURN TO SENDER — Fairmont’s Claire Nemmers connects on a forehand return near the baseline during Big South Conference tennis action at the Cardinal Courts in Fairmont. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)

FAIRMONT — The Fairmont Cardinals lineup was adjusted, but the outcome remained largely the same as the two previous meets.

The Cardinals beat River Valley 6-1 in Big South Conference East Division girls tennis action Tuesday in Fairmont. It was the Cardinals’ third win over the Wildcats, only dropping one match in the three dual meets.

The impromptu meet was scheduled after both the Cardinals’ and Wildcats’ meets scheduled against Waseca this week were cancelled because of a COVID-19 outbreak in Waseca. River Valley was scheduled to face off with Waseca Monday, while Fairmont had the Bluejays scheduled for Thursday and Monday, Sept. 21.

Fairmont head coach Laura Olsen said the Cardinals were happy to pick up a meet.

“We were just really excited to get to play again,” Olsen said. “That’s kind of the theme for 2020, enjoy the moment while we’ve got it. Because we never know when we’ll be the next Waseca or when our season might be over. We just told our girls to go into every match 100 percent no matter the opponent or where they were playing.”

The Cardinals took their first team point when Fairmont’s second doubles sisterly crew of Maggy Totzke and Libby Totzke walked off the court early in their first set after an injury default from Alexis Garza and Megan Stevens.

Briana Joseph was the start of the lineup changes, moving from second to first singles. Joseph eased to a 6-0, 6-0 sweep of Kiera Lafferty at the top singles spot.

Abi Peyman moved to the second singles spot from No. 3, and quickly made her way to a, 6-1, 6-2, win over Presley Dockter.

After playing doubles the last time the two teams met, Lauren Davis played in the third singles position and clinched the meet for the Cardinals with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Taylor Berkner.

“We were excited to play River Valley again, knowing we could switch things up,” Olsen said. “We were able to get some of our lead seniors who have been around for as many years as they can, we got them in the varsity lineup. It was nice to get them in the lineup and the girls were excited about it. I think that showed in how they played.”

The Cardinals’ third doubles pair of Emily Hagen and Brooke VanGelderen kept the winning ways going with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Sydne Wahl and Erika Lozano.

Fairmont’s final team point came at first doubles, where usual first singles player Claire Nemmers teamed with Ellie Hernes to take a hard-fought 6-4, 6-4 win over Brooklyn Moldan and Kaydince Thoms.

Maya Nelsen claimed River Valley’s lone point with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Fairmont’s Annika Wheeler at fourth singles.

“The girls were having fun and played well,” Olsen said. “Some of them had to adjust because they had a new doubles partner or we had some doubles players playing singles, I think they all adjusted well. I think that showed at changeovers, if I wasn’t able to go talk to them, I could see them making the changes I would have had them make. These girls have been listening, they’ve been playing this game for a long time and they can adjust on their own. I’m really proud of them.”

Fairmont (5-3) will not play its originally scheduled meets Thursday and Monday against Waseca. The Cardinals will wait until Thursday, Sept. 24, when they play host to St. Peter.

Varsity Results

Fairmont 6,

River Valley 1

Singles Bracket

• Briana Joseph (FMT) def. Kiera Lafferty, 6-0. 6-0.

• Abi Peyman (FMT) def. Presley Dockter, 6-1, 6-2.

• Lauren Davis (FMT) def. Taylor Berkner, 6-2, 6-3.

• Maya Nelsen (RV) def. Annika Wheeler, 6-1. 6-4.

Doubles Bracket

• Claire Nemmers-Ellie Hernes (FMT) def. Brooklyn Moldan-Kaydince Thoms, 6-4, 6-4.

• Maggy Totzke-Libby Totzke (FMT) def. Alexis Garza-Megan Stevens, injury default.

• Emily Hagen-Brooke VanGelderen (FMT) def. Sydne Wahl-Erica Lozano, 6-3, 6-0.

JV Results

Doubles Bracket

Fairmont 6,

River Valley 1

• Kaycie Brookens-Rachel O’Connor (FMT) won, 4-3, 4-3.

• Johanna Petschke-Elly Stegge (FMT) won, 4-3, 3-4, (10-8).

• Meredith Nemmers-Lilly Laven (FMT) won, 4-1, 4-1.

• Brynn Gustafson-Jenna Spencer (FMT) won, 4-3. 4-0.

• Solveig Senf-Paige Linse (FMT) won, 4-0, 4-0.

• Aili Lockwood-Jayden Moses (FMT) won, 4-2, 4-1.

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