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Farmington girls' tennis improves as conference play starts

Senior Brooke Hapuku volleys during her singles match against Prior Lake. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia

The Farmington girls' tennis team may be off to a slow start, but they could not ask for any better competition to start their season. The Tigers played Eagan and Prior Lake, which could be considered two of the top teams in the state. Prior Lake has made several state tournaments in a row while Eagan returns several players from last year's class 2A state runner-up team.

Lakeville North

Farmington started the season with a home match against Lakeville North, which they narrowly lost 4-3. Senior Brooke Hapuku won first singles 6-1, 6-3; fellow senior Ellie Moser took second singles 7-6(3), 6-2 and freshman Ashley Renwick won third singles 7-5, 6-4. However, North took fourth singles from junior Makayla Bauer 6-0, 6-3, and then all three doubles matches.

Seniors Kjerstin Hall and Jamie Ellis lost first doubles 6-1, 6-3; sophomores Sydney Hubbard and Taylor Ellis dropped second doubles 6-2, 6-2 and seniors Alexandra Laube and Christine Steffes fell in third doubles 6-4, 6-1.

Northfield

The Tigers dropped their second home match to Northfield 5-2. Hapuku took first singles 6-2, 6-0 and Moser won second singles 6-4, 6-0. Renwick fell in third singles 6-3, 6-2 and Bauer lost fourth singles 6-1, 6-0. The team of Jamie Ellis and Hall lost first doubles 6-3, 6-1; Taylor Ellis and Hubbard dropped second doubles 6-2, 6-4, and Laube and Steffes were edged out in third doubles 6-2, 7-5.

Tough stretch

While the Tigers lost to Eagan 6-1 and were swept by Prior Lake, head coach Blake Olmscheid said there were some great individual efforts in those losses.

"They (Eagan) were a really good team and our competitive matches and win at first doubles were bright spots in that dual match," he said. "Jamie (Ellis) and Kjerstin (Hall) in particular had one of their best matches possibly of their careers, comfortably running through their opponents at the (No.) 1 doubles position. Brooke (Hapuku) bounced back from her Eagan loss to go toe-to-toe with Taylor Jackson, the best player on a team (Prior Lake) ranked fifth in state (at the time). We have made it through one of the tougher points in our schedule and have seen steady improvement in all aspects of the lineup. Things are looking up as we work our way into the meaty portion of our conference schedule, and we are expecting some great competition in the next couple weeks of the season."

Farmington traveled to Faribault on Sept. 11, hosted Shakopee on Sept. 12, travels to Burnsville on Thursday, Sept. 14, and then goes to Buffalo, Minn., for an invitational Saturday, Sept. 16.

Alec Hamilton

Alec Hamilton is a sports reporter and general assignment reporter at the Hastings Star Gazette. He is a journalism graduate of Drake University.

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