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B.E. Area tennis team improves to 10-0

DOUBLING UP — Blue Earth Area’s Britt Howard (left) connects on a backhand return as second doubles partner Lyndsey Borris awaits a possible return during Big South Conference East Division tennis action Thursday at Hal Schroeder Courts in Blue Earth. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)

BLUE EARTH — The domino effect.

The Blue Earth Area Bucs girls tennis lineup reeled off six consecutive team points during a 10-minute span Thursday to pace a 7-0 triumph over the River Valley Wildcats during Big South Conference action at Hal Schroeder Courts in Blue Earth.

Blue Earth Area captured the East Division championship by closing out the pandemic-condensed regular season with a perfect 10-0 dual-meet record.

The Bucs play host to Luverne in a 4:30 p.m. conference cross-over meet Monday at Schroeder Courts. Blue Earth Area then squares off against West Division champion St. James Area for the outright BSC team crown at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, in Blue Earth.

“When I glanced at the scorecards, I noticed nearly all six of them were 5-something in the second sets,” said Blue Earth Area head coach Konny Wolff. “I told (assistant coach) Karleigh (Wolff) to get her (junior varsity) girls ready to play on the soon-to-be open courts.

“In all the years I’ve coached, I can’t recall ever seeing six matches all end during that short of a time span.”

The first doubles combination of McKenna Dutton and Kylie Rosenau triggered the domino effect by needing only 13 games to clinch the Bucs’ initial team point at 5:21 p.m. Dutton’s overhead-smashing play near the net and Rosenau’s precision passing shots fueled a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Megan Stevens and Alexis Garza.

Only four minutes later, Blue Earth Area third singles netter Arika Howard exited the courts with back-to-back 6-1 set wins over Kiera Lafferty. Howard’s strong service game staked the Buc senior to 5-0 leads in both sets.

No sooner had Arika Howard zipped her racket case, teammate Te’a Armstrong contributed Blue Earth Area’s third team tally with back-to-back 6-0 set victories over Brooklyn Moldan at No. 1 singles. Armstrong’s shutout occurred one minute after Howard’s win.

Second singles player Marissa Benz officially collected the meet-clinching point by defeating Kaydince Thoms in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1. Benz’s victory triggered three wins in a mere three minutes, starting at 5:29 p.m.

Fourth singles netter Addison Armstrong rolled to a 6-2, 6-0 triumph over Presley Dockter at 5:30 p.m. before the second doubles team of Lyndsey Borris and Britt Howard capped a 6-0, 6-2 win over Erika Lozano and Sydne Wahl at 5:31 p.m. for a 6-0 lead on the team ledger.

“People might ask what time we won the seventh team point today,” said Konny Wolff. “We only have six courts here, so our third doubles team’s match had barely started by the time Lyndsey and Britt exited.”

Cali Beyer and Olivia Dutton combined court skills at No. 3 doubles to cap the Bucs’ shutout with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Taylor Berkner and Courtlyn Runch.

Varsity Results

B.E. Area 7, River Valley 0

Singles Bracket

• Te’a Armstrong (BEA) def. Brooklyn Moldan, 6-0, 6-0.

• Marissa Benz (BEA) def. Kaydince Thoms, 6-1, 6-1.

• Arika Howard (BEA) def. Kiera Lafferty, 6-1, 6-1.

• Addison Armstrong (BEA) def. Presley Dockter, 6-2, 6-0.

Doubles Bracket

• McKenna Dutton-Kylie Rosenau (BEA) def. Megan Stevens-Alexis Garza, 6-0, 6-1.

• Lyndsey Borris-Britt Howard (BEA) def. Erika Lozano-Sydne Wahl, 6-0, 6-2.

• Cali Beyer-Olivia Dutton (BEA) def. Taylor Berkner-Courtlyn Runch, 6-1, 6-1.

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