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St. Peter doubles down on Fairmont netters, 4-3

BACKHAND BLAST — Fairmont tennis player Libby Totzke (right) connects on a backhand return while Cardinals’ third doubles partner Hope Klanderud watches the shot at the Cardinal Courts in Fairmont. St. Peter slipped by Fairmont, 4-3, during regular-season tennis action Thursday. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells/Sentinel archives)

FAIRMONT — The St. Peter Saints swept the doubles bracket to help pace a down-to-the-wire 4-3 Big South Conference girls tennis victory over the Fairmont Cardinals during a regular-season dual meet Thursday at the Cardinal Courts in Fairmont.

Claire Nemmers, Briana Joseph and Maggy Totzke each shook off the rust from the Cardinal tennis lineup’s 16-day layoff due to the high number of COVID-19 active cases in Waseca and Martin counties. Fairmont last stepped to the courts on Sept. 15 when it defeated River Valley.

Nemmers slugged out a 6-4, 6-0 victory over Amelia Hildebrandt during first singles action, while Maggy Totzke needed only 15 total games to net her team tally for the red-and-white. Totzke downed Rhyan Holmgren, 6-3, 6-0, during third singles action.

Joseph required an extra segment to eventually pocket a team point for Fairmont during second singles action.

Joseph downed Annika Southworth in their opening set by a 6-1 decision before the Saints’ eighth-grader battled back to capture the second frame, 6-4. Joseph caught her second wind to pocket a 6-2 victory in the third set.

Maddie Kamm claimed St. Peter’s lone singles-bracket point of the dual meet. Kamm outlasted Abi Peyman in a first-set tiebreaker, 7-6 (7-5). Kamm then fended off her fellow freshman phenom by a 6-4 decision in the second set at fourth singles.

Molly Voeltz and Macy Weller needed a third set to outlast Fairmont’s third doubles combination of Libby Totzke and Hope Klanderud.

Totzke and Klanderud opened the match with a 6-4 win in the first set before Voeltz and Weller rebounded for a 6-0 second-set triumph to force a decisive segment.

Voeltz and Weller then squeezed out a 7-3 decision to pocket the third-set tiebreaker, 7-6, over Totzke and Klanderud.

Josie Wiebusch and Jayna Matejcek needed extra time to capture their initial set against Fairmont’s Emily Hagen and Ellie Hernes during second doubles action.

Wiebusch and Matejcek fended off Hagen and Hernes in the opening frame via a 7-6 tiebreaker by a 7-3 score. The St. Peter combination then rolled to a 6-3 win in the second set.

Lizzy Orth and Emily Salfer competed the Saints’ sweep of the doubles bracket by netting a straight-set victory over Fairmont’s Lauren Davis and Anika Haugen. Orth and Salfer posted set decisions of 6-0 and 6-2, respectively.

Brooke VanGelderen and Annika Wheeler captured a 4-2, 1-4, (7-5) victory for Fairmont during junior varsity action.

Fairmont closed out the regular season with a 5-4 dual-meet record.

The Cardinals were originally scheduled to compete in the Section 3A Team Meet starting Monday in the quarterfinals.

Unfortunately, after the rising numbers of active COVID-19 tests in Martin County, Fairmont High School will switch to all distance learning and hold no extracurricular activities for two weeks, beginning on Monday, under orders issued by the Minnesota Department of Health.

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