Elders lead Eagles to perfection
MADISON -- Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd girls tennis coach Brant Hacker knew he had a good team entering this season, but he didn't imagine they would be undefeated this far down the schedule.
Behind the unblemished record is a team loaded with seniors and talent in singles. LQPV/DB's pairings in doubles aren't any slouches either as only 5 of LQPV/DB's 16 wins were by scores of 4-3.
LQPV/DB is nearly unbeaten in a combined 48 matches at the top three singles spots. Leading the way is unbeaten Patricia Ott at No. 1. A foreign exchange student from Cologne, Germany, Ott has swept every opponent in straight sets and hasn't lost a game in 14 of 32 sets.
Kelle Thompson is also 16-0 at No. 2 and the junior has needed to go three sets just once. Senior Lindsay Hansen is 15-1 at No. 3 and she has lost only 31 of a possible 180 games in her 15 straight-set wins. Hansen has won her last 12 matches.
Rounding out singles is senior Marina Risch, who is 11-5 at No. 4.
"We have a lot of seniors putting the time in," said Hacker, who is a doctor by trade. "And we have a foreign exchange student. That put us over the edge."
Four more seniors -- Michelle Olson, Tiffani Hastad, Katie Hutt and Whitney Schwenk -- dot the doubles lineup. Olson (6-9) and Hastad (7-9) are the mainstays at No. 1 and have won four of their last five matches. Going 11-4 and unbeaten in their last six matches at No. 2 is Hutt (12-4) and freshman Kylie Jahn (12-4), and Schwenk (9-5) and junior Anna Dvorak (9-6) have won their last four matches at No. 3.
Seniors Kelli Tillbury (2-1) and Ida Simonsen (1-0) have also won doubles matches earlier in the season.
All of the "continuity" has turned into unmatched success for the Eagles.
"A couple play indoors during the winter, but all of them are on the courts as soon as the snow is gone," said Hacker. "I knew we would have a strong team, but not unbeaten."
LQPV/DB is 6-0 in the West Central South Conference and its two remaining conference matches are against opponents that lost 7-0 to LQPV/DB earlier in the season. If Benson/KMS beats Montevideo on Friday, LQPV/DB can win the conference title outright Tuesday with a win at Morris Area.
Hopefully the doctor has enough paper in his office to prescribe more success for his tennis team.