The Vermillion girls’ tennis team competed at the Class A State Tennis Tournament in Sioux Falls this past Monday and Tuesday.
“All the girls were competitive at the state tournament this year,” said Vermillion head coach Kari Jensen. “We had three advance to the second day.”
Eleven teams from across the state competed in the Class A Tournament.
“We won five matches this year at the tournament versus winning one last year,” said coach Jensen about the team's improvement.
Junior Emma Dahlhoff played in the first flight of singles for the Tanagers as the No. 10 seed. Senior Katrina Heles competed in the second flight as the 8 seed.
Seventh-grader Annika Barnett was the 11 seed in the third flight of singles. In the fourth flight, seventh-grader Emma Jury competed at the 10 seed.
Junior Lauren Mandernach was the 10 seed in the fifth flight of singles. Seventh-grader Abby Hanson was also the 10 seed in the sixth flight.
In singles, Dahlhoff lost the first round but went on to win the consolation quarterfinals 10-4 against 9-seed Silvee McCoy of Spearfish. Dahlhoff fell to the 4-seed in the consolation semis, CC Graham of Madison.
Jury won round one as the underdog to No. 7 Beth Englehart of Huron. She won a close set 7-5, then the second 6-4.
Jury went on the face the 2 seed, Allison Schock of Aberdeen. Jury lost, moving on to the consolation semis.
In the consolation semis, Jury played the 6 seed, Mitchell’s Kiersten Bathke. Jury lost in the semis in a close 6-10 match.
Mandernach went into a third set in her first round of singles but lost after winning the first.
Hanson also played well against her first opponent from Milbank, going into a super tiebreaker but lost the battle 8-10. She previously lost to this opponent twice by larger deficits.
“It's always fun to compete against good opponents,” said coach Jensen. “Our girls are making a name for themselves that they can win matches and have the grit to do it no matter what.”
In the first flight of doubles, Dahlhoff and Heles were the 11 seed. Mandernach and senior Hope Schladoer were the 6 seed in the second flight. Senior Madi Schladoer and seventh-grader Brooke Jensen competed as the 11 seed in the third flight of doubles.
Mandernach and H. Schladoer won their first round of doubles in the second flight against Lennox 6-3, 6-3.
The duo lost to Mitchell in the quarterfinals but had a bye in the consolation quarterfinals. In the consolation semis, Vermillion’s second flight of doubles lost to Pierre 4-10.
Vermillion will lose three seniors, Heles, M. Schladoer, and H. Schladoer.
“I will miss my senior leadership,” said coach Jensen. “Katrina Heles always led the dynamic warm-up at meets, and both Schladoer girls—along with Heles—were great role models for the younger girls.”
Overall, the Tanagers had a young team and will return girls with a year under their belts.
“I'm looking forward to seeing our younger girls mature into confident tennis players,” said coach Jensen. “They were thrown to the wolves this year, many having never played before, and every single one of them won a match this year and improved.”
Coach Jensen also hopes to grow the Vermillion girls’ tennis team.
“I'm looking to continue to recruit athletes to the sport of tennis,” said coach Jensen. “It is a great sport for lateral movement and hand-eye coordination which benefits the athlete in other sports. I'm hoping to change the way we view tennis in Vermillion. I want people to understand that tennis is a tough sport to play. It teaches integrity, good sportsmanship, and mental toughness.”
In tennis, the coach is also not allowed to speak to players during the match or watch constantly as other teammates play at the same time.
“Our girls improved their mental toughness this year,” said coach Jensen. “I will miss my seniors, but we have a very bright future. It will be nice to have Emma Dahlhoff back as our No. 1 singles player. She had some very close matches this year against the best of the best from A and AA schools.”
Singles Round One:
Emma Dahlhoff v. #7 HUR Kayla Harvey 2-6, 1-6; Katrina Heles v. #9 PIE Carissa Ott 4-6, 2-6; Annika Barnett v. #6 MAD Lily Wolff 4-6, 4-6; Emma Jury v. #7 HUR Beth Engelhart 7-5, 6-4; Lauren Mandernach v. #7 SPE Rebecca Anglin 6-4, 2-6, 7-10; Abby Hanson v. #7 SPE Kate Mondloch 6-1, 6-7(4), 8-10
Doubles Round One:
Dahlhoff/Heles v. #6 MAD Graham/Wolff 3-6, 2-6; Mandernach/H. Schladoer v. #11 LEN Bird/Boomgarden 6-3, 6-3; M. Schladoer/Jensen v. #6 PIE Corrales/Ott 1-6, 1-6
Singles Round Two:
Emma Dahlhoff v. #9 SPE Silvee McCoy 10-4; Katrina Heles v. #7 MIL Rhianna Cantine 3-10; Annika Barnett v. #4 MIL Hattie Muellenbach 2-10; Emma Jury v. #2 ABR Allison Schock 0-6, 0-6; Lauren Mandernach v. #9 HUR AnneClaire Rubish 4-10; Abby Hanson v. #8 HUR Bianca Medina 2-10
Doubles Round Two:
Dahlhoff/Heles v. #5 RCH 3-10; Mandernach/H. Schladoer v. #3 MIT Huber/Moller 0-6, 0-6; M. Schladoer/Jensen v. #5 MIL 2-10
Singles Round Three:
Emma Dahlhoff v. #4 MAD CC Graham 1-10; Emma Jury v. #8 SPE Maddy Reichert 10-2
Doubles Round Three:
Mandernach/H. Schladoer v. #3 MIT Huber/Moller 0-6, 0-6
Singles Round Four:
Emma Jury v. #6 MIT Kiersten Bathke 6-10
Doubles Round Four:
Mandernach/H. Schladoer v. BYE
Doubles Round Five:
Mandernach/H. Schladoer v. #7 PIE 4-10