The Pine City High School tennis team has a lot to celebrate and many individuals to honor after their accomplishments this fall.
“The strength of this team, their desire to work hard, and their positive attitude contributed to the success of the season,” said Coach Kristin Unverzagt. “They are inspirational both on and off the court.”
The team finished strong with an overall record of 16-3. They were undefeated in the Granite Ridge Conference and played strong into the section playoffs and state tournament.
The team won over Eveleth-Gilbert (6-1) in the section finals to advance to the state tournament. The girls battled hard with a tough first round loss to Litchfield (3-4), but won the second round 6-1 over Crookston. The team fell short in the consolation finals to Rochester Lourdes, 2-5.
“The growth of this team from the first week of practice to our final match was awesome,” Unverzagt said. “The team came to practice willing and ready to get better each day. Their goal each day was to step on the court and make their teammates better. The girls knew that if we were going to meet our season goals, we had to use each other to get better. They are a great example of what it means to be a team.”
2021 Season Awards
The girls not only got it done on the tennis court, but also received the state academic gold award and are the Granite Ridge Conference Academic Champions this year as well.
Team Awards: Granite Ridge Conference Champions, Granite Ridge Academic Conference Champions, Section 7A Tournament: 1st Place, State Tournament Participant, State Academic Gold Champions
Senior Academic All-State Gold Award Recipients: Rhaya Merrick
All-Conference Recipients: Maddie Berglund, Ella Sell, Addison Sell, Allison Unverzagt, Sophie Lahti
All Conference-Honorable Mention; Claire Emmons
State Tournament Participant: Ella Sell
Looking to the future
Unverzagt noted that the team will graduate three seniors: Maddie Berglund, Rhaya Merrick and Samantha Grubbs.
“I am so excited for the future of this team and I am already excited for next season,” Unverzagt said. “The girls love to play and hang out with each other. They completely understand what it means to compete and enjoy the game. I could not be more proud to coach such an amazing group of young women.”
Unverzagt thanked Coach Eb, Coach Kloeckl, and Coach Adams for their dedication to help the team get stronger each day at practice and in matches. She also offered to congratulations to Coach Adams – the Section 7A Coach of the year.
“I also wanted to thank the community for their support,” she said. “The encouraging notes, fire truck escorts/parade, and fans lining the streets meant so much to our team. We were honored to represent the Pine City community at the state tournament. It has been a great year and I cannot wait to get back on the courts next season.”