The Dragon girls tennis program has built an amazing record of success over the years, and Coach Kristin Unverzagt said she is excited to see how this team will build on that winning tradition over the course of the season.
“It is so fun to be with them on the court,” Unverzagt said. “They are an amazing group of young women. They bring a hard working energy to practice and matches.”
She said she is also excited to return to a full schedule with tournaments and many opportunities for the team to see different opponents.
“The girls had a strong finish last season, despite the challenges of COVID restrictions, and have high goals to continue to carry on the Dragon tennis tradition.”
Unverzagt noted that they have 10 returning varsity letter winners, including team captains Maddie Berglund and Ella Sell.
“This will be a huge asset for our team to build on the strong finish that they had last season,” she said. “Our team will be led by seniors Rhaya Merrick, Maddie Berglund, and Samantha Grubbs. In addition to our seniors, our underclassmen have also been working hard and will be a great asset to the success of the team.
“Our goal is to continue to improve each time we are on the court. We want the players to push themselves and each other. With a team goal to improve something each time we are on the court, they will be a competitive team and have a lot of fun this season. The girls do a great job of pushing each other and have a drive to compete hard.”
The Dragons are already deep into non-conference action, after kicking off their season in St. James on Aug. 20 and hosting their annual Power Tournament on Monday, Aug. 23
“The first six matches give our team an opportunity to play a lot and see teams that we do not see during our regular season,” Unverzagt said. “We will begin conference play with Mora on Sept. 14. The team has high goals to be competitive in the conference and section as they work hard in the pre-season to play as many matches as possible.
“The team is always excited about opportunities to play and spend time with each other on bus rides and overnight trips, so it will be great having a full schedule again this year.
Unverzagt said the team’s experience brings with it high hopes for the season, and she has confidence in her players.
“Their team chemistry, smiles, and work ethic will be the key to our success this season,” she said. “The players are great role models and have high expectations both on the court and in the classroom.”
St. Cloud Quad
On Aug. 26 the Dragons traveled to St. Cloud Tech to play St. Cloud, Pequot Lakes, and Staples. The rain did not allow us to get in our last match, but we had good matches with St. Cloud and Pequot Lakes.
In the St. Cloud match, our team came ready to play as we swept doubles. The teams moved well and maintained their offensive position. In singles, our game improved from Friday as the players utilized passing shots and took advantage of offensive opportunities. All the girls were focused and played hard for this match.
St. Cloud Tech - 2, Pine City - 5
No. 1 - Paige Tarrolly, St. Cloud Tech def. Ella Sell, Pine City, 6-3 , 7-5 , -;
No. 2 - Addison Sell, Pine City def. Ella Marohl, St. Cloud Tech, 6-4 , 6-2 , -;
No. 3 - Brooke Boland, Pine City def. Olivia Bauerly, St. Cloud Tech, 6-2 , 6-0 , -;
No. 4 - .Brooke Wilfong, St. Cloud Tech def. Lily Struss, Pine City, 3-6 , 6-2 , 10-6 ;
No. 1 - Madisen Berglund, Pine City- Allison Unverzagt, Pine City def. Abby Brown, St. Cloud Tech - Isabelle Anderson, St. Cloud Tech, 6-1 , 6-2 , -;
No. 2 - Sophia Lahti, Pine City - Claire Emmons, Pine City def. Anna Miller, St. Cloud Tech - .Kylie Starren, St. Cloud Tech, 4-6 , 6-2 , 11-9 ;
No. 3 - Malia Mikyska, Pine City - Youngbauer Brenna, Pine City def. Cailey Davidson, St. Cloud Tech - Jenna Amundson, St. Cloud Tech, 6-3 , 6-2 , -;
Unverzagt said the Pequot Lakes match came down to the wire.
“We battled hard and all positions and fell short by one point,” she said. “At first doubles, Lahti and Unverzagt were the first point off with a dominating match, winning 6-1, 6-0. Second doubles, Mikyska and Emmons, battled hard to win a first set tie breaker and then played strong and smart to win the second set. The 3rd doubles team, Youngbauer and Roubinek, battled hard to rally back in the second and take it to a third set tie breaker. In singles, Ella Sell had a strong game against a tough first singles, but fell just short. Berglund also stepped up at second singles with great shots, smart rallies, and aggressive play. Winning our only singles point was Addison Sell. She played consistent, smart, and aggressive. Her points were long but she stayed patient until she had an opportunity to be offensive. Wrapping up the singles line up was Brooke Boland and 4th singles. She also had a good match against a strong Pequot player.”
Pine City - 3, Pequot Lakes - 4
No. 1 - Megan Muller, Pequot Lakes def. Ella Sell, Pine City, 6-2 , 6-2 , -;
No. 2 - Carly Chaney, Pequot Lakes def. Madisen Berglund, Pine City, 6-1 , 6-4 , -;
No. 3 - Addison Sell, Pine City def. Quinn Trottier, Pequot Lakes, 6-4 , 4-6 , 10-7 ;
No. 4 - Riley Fogarty, Pequot Lakes def. Brooke Boland, Pine City, 6-0 , 6-2 , -;
No. 1 - Allison Unverzagt, Pine City - Sophia Lahti, Pine City def. Kelbee Lampi, Pequot Lakes - Alexis Peterson, Pequot Lakes, 6-1 , 6-0 , -;
No. 2 - Claire Emmons, Pine City - Malia Mikyska, Pine City def. Payton Mudgett, Pequot Lakes - Allyson Yahn, Pequot Lakes, 7-6 (4), 6-4 , -;
No. 3 - Ellie Ouradnik, Pequot Lakes - Aubrey Wiczek, Pequot Lakes def. Youngbauer Brenna, Pine City - Lena Roubinek, Pine City, 6-3 , 4-6 , 11-9 ;
“Overall, I continue to be so proud of their team and their efforts,” Unverzagt said. “We get better and continue to learn each time we step on the court.”
Friday, Aug 20 Varsity Quad @ St. James 9 am
Monday, Aug 23 HOME Varsity Tournament 8 am
Thursday, Aug 26 Varsity Quad @ St. Cloud Tech 9 am
Thursday, Aug 26 HOME JV Quad 9 am
Friday, Aug 27 HOME Varsity Quad 8 am
Tuesday, Aug 31 HOME JV vs Becker 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug 31 Varsity @ Becker 5:15 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 2 HOME Varsity vs North Branch 4 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 2 JV @ North Branch 4 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 11 HOME Varsity Tournament 8 am
Tuesday, Sept. 14 Varsity @ Mora 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 14 HOME JV vs Mora 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 16 Varsity @ Aitkin 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 16 HOME JV vs Aitkin 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 18 Varsity @ Hibbing Invite 9 am
Saturday, Sept. 18 HOME JV Quad 9 am
Tuesday, Sept. 21 HOME Varsity vs Foley 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 21 JV @ Foley 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 23 Varsity @ Pierz 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 23 HOME JV vs Pierz 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 25 HOME JV Quad 9 am
Tuesday, Sept. 28 HOME Varsity vs Little Falls 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 28 JV @ Little Falls 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 30 HOME Varsity Duluth Marshall 4 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 30 JV (Junior High) @ Mora 4:15 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 2 Varsity Conference Tournament 9 a.m.
Look for updates on the Dragon Tennis Facebook page and the school website at: https://sites.google.com/isd578.org/girlstennis/home