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Blue Earth Area tennis trio set for state individual meet

MAKING A RACKET ­— Blue Earth Area tennis players, from left, Grace Hanson, Addison Armstrong and Olivia Dutton open action in the Class A individual state tennis tournament today at Reed-Sweatt Tennis Center in Minneapolis. Armstrong starts singles play at 8 a.m., while Dutton and Hanson hit the courts at 10 a.m. today. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)

MINNEAPOLIS — Blue Earth Area singles player Addison Armstrong did not eclipse the 100-win plateau during her prep tennis career without squaring off against top-notch opponents.

Today will not be an exception for either Armstrong or Buc doubles teammates Olivia Dutton and Grace Hanson when the trio opens the Class A individual state tennis meet at the Reed-Sweatt Tennis Center in Minneapolis.

Armstrong, who enters the elite competition with 101 career wins, faces Pine City sophomore Brooke Boland in an 8 a.m. first-round singles match. Boland has netted 74 victories during her three varsity campaigns, highlighted by a 28-9 record this fall.

If Armstrong posts a win over Boland, the BEA senior standout would likely square off against No. 1-seeded and undefeated Isabelle Einess in the quarterfinals.

Einess, who has compiled a perfect 45-0 record during her final two prep seasons at Breck, is not only the defending Class A state singles champion, but also captured second-place state accolades as a sophomore at Minnehaha Academy in 2021.

Einess opens her final high school state tennis meet against Montevideo junior Brooke Lindeman (17-3) at 8 a.m. today.

Einess is no stranger to Armstrong as the two clashed during the 2022 individual state meet, with the Breck phenom beating the BEA standout in the quarterfinals. Armstrong posted a first-round win over Pine City’s Addison Sell last year.

In the opposite half of the Class A singles bracket, No. 2-seeded Annika Harberts Ott (15-3) of Providence Academy opens against Thief River Falls sophomore Braylee Wienen (27-3) at 8 a.m. today.

Unfortunately for Harberts Ott, her opening-round draws have been extremely difficult.

Harberts Ott lost to Einess in first-round state action in 2022 on the heels of falling to eventual 2021 Class A state champion Ancele Dolensek of Minnehaha Academy in that opening round.

In today’s Class A individual doubles competition starting at 10 a.m., Dutton and Hanson face a fate similar to Harberts Ott from 2021 and 2022.

Dutton (17-8) and Hanson (19-6), who played primarily at Nos. 2 and 3 singles during the regular season this fall, square off against defending Class A state doubles champions Greta Johnson (14-6) and Chloe Alley (16-2) of Minnehaha Academy in their first-round match.

If Dutton and Hanson win their doubles opener, the Bucs’ tandem would face the winner between freshman Isla Dille and senior Olivia Olson of Litchfield and Pine City senior Lexa Valvoda and sophomore Alana Lindell.

Dille, like Dutton, qualified for state in singles action a year ago and posted a first-round win before falling the quarterfinals. Meanwhile, Dutton lost to Le Sueur-Henderson’s Chloe Brandt in opening-round state singles play in 2022.

Oddly enough, Johnson and Alley are the No. 2 seeds in this year’s state doubles bracket behind senior Nana Vang and freshman Fatemeh Vang of The Blake School. Even more ironic, Rochester Lourdes’ Elyse Palen and Caroline Daly, the 2022 Class A state doubles runners-up, are seeded No. 3 in this fall’s division.

 

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