Fire comeback edges Virginia at state tournament

The girls tennis team took on Virginia this morning at Reed-Sweatt Tennis Center in the Class A State Tournament quarterfinals. In a nail-biting come from behind finish, the team was able to hold their ground and came out with a 4-3 victory over the Blue Devils.

Key victories for the Fire came from Ally Agerland at 2 singles, Alexis Pricco and Lindsey Harris at 1 doubles, Emma Terris at 2 doubles, and Julia Geurs and Anna Vakulskus at 3 doubles. Notably, Agerland took on Ava Warren in a rematch of the State Tournament in 2015 that she lost (6-2, 6-1). This time, Agerland dominated Warren (6-3, 6-2). Ally said following the match, “I think we were highly motivated because we lost to Virginia two years ago.”

Crucially, Holy Family’s doubles teams swept the Blue Devils to give the Fire a one point edge including Agerland’s victory. Senior Laura Kirsch reflected on the difficulty of her match-up, “My opponent was a lot stronger than the other girls I have played this year. Rallies usually last longer and I had to adjust. I think I played her well, but she was more consistent hitting her shots.” Despite dropping her singles match, Kirsch credited the team’s supportive atmosphere for their overall victory, “We always pick each other up and we always root for each other.”

This was the third time the Fire took on Virginia during the State Tournament in recent years. With the Fire winning their first two meetings (6-1, 4-3) and Virginia edging Holy Family (4-3) in last years tournament.

After the team’s win, senior captain Sophie Lynch said, “I’m pumped right now. I’m so excited and proud of my team ’cause we worked so hard. Our coaches have put in so much time and we put in so much time in practice. I think our team really deserves this.”

Tomorrow, the girls advance to play #6 Osakis at 8am at Reed-Sweatt in the semifinals. Osakis defeated Blue Earth (6-1) in the first round.