ST. PETER -- Benson earned its first trip to the state girls' tennis tournament Thursday, upsetting Litchfield 4-3 at Gustavus Adolphus College. Benson (18-2) advanced to the championship with a 5-2 victory over New London-Spicer in the semifinals. "The girls are really excited," said Benson coach Don Brehmer. "They really played well and wanted to win this pretty bad." The match was tied 3-3 with Benson's Jill Hagestuen, MacKenzie Weber and Abby Fragodt all winning at singles. The pressure was put on Lauren Alsaker and Chelsey Goff at 3-doubles.
WORTHINGTON -- For the first time in program's short history, the Willmar boys soccer team pulled off an upset in the playoffs, topping Worthington 2-1 in the first round of the Section 2A tournament on Tuesday. Sergio Flores scored twice in the first half and Ethan Vogel made 16 saves as the No. 10 Cardinals advanced to Thursday's quarterfinals against No. 2 Mankato West. "This is a really big win for our program," said an elated Willmar coach Richard Courtney.
Willmar running back Cory Hanson's two-touchdown performance in a 31-27 win at St. Cloud Tech last Friday earned him the Central Lakes Conference's Performer of the Week award in football. Hanson rushed for 184 yards in 28 carries, one of which was the game's winning touchdown on a 21-yard dash with 1:55 left in the game.
A two-hour or 200-lap Enduro Race featuring 4-cylinder cars only is slated for 4 p.m. Saturday in Willmar. The entry fee is $100 with a $2,000 first-prize based on 75 entries. Grandstand admission is $5. Entry forms available at 941theloon.com or phone 320-905-3404.
The Diamond Edge Figure Skating Club and the Learn To Skate Program will be holding an open house from 2-4 p.m. Sunday at the Willmar Civic Center. There will be skating exhibitions, then an open skating period. Admission is free and rental skates will be available.
BRAINERD -- Willmar snapped a four-match losing streak in the Central Lakes Conference by sweeping Brainerd 25-13, 25-21, 25-16 Tuesday. The win nearly mirrored the Cardinals' first victory this year against Brainerd. Willmar (5-5, 8-12) gave up only one more point and had two less ace serves on Tuesday compared to its 25-11, 25-16, 25-22 sweep on Sept.
MONTEVIDEO -- The Montevideo Thunder Hawks extended their winning streak to 16 matches on Tuesday thumping Lac qui Parle Valley 25-21, 12-25, 25-19 and 25-18. The victory secured at the least a share of the West Central Conference South championship. Yellow Medicine East also won Tuesday to remain two matches back. Karie Blommel was the attack leader for Montevideo with 10 kills. "Karie showed great leadership," said Naumann. "Kara Nelson played a steady game. She got to loose balls, passed well and covered.
NEW LONDON -- New London-Spicer won for the third time in West Central North Conference action, beating winless Paynesville, 25-12, 25-19, 25-16 Thursday. The Wildcats (3-9, 4-16) threw up a strong attack, with Cassie Ziemer recording 11 kills on 17-of-17 attacks. Taylor Thompsen added six kills and four ace serves.
RENVILLE -- With the help of Megan Groen's 17 kills, Renville County West moved into a tie for first place in the Camden North Conference by upending Canby 25-17, 25-19, 22-25, 25-17 Tuesday. The Jaguars (15-5) improved to 4-1 in the loop, the same mark as idle MACCRAY (11-6).
College Volleyball JUNIOR COLLEGE Ridgewater vs. Anoka-Ramsey at Coon Rapids, 6:30 p.m. Prep Volleyball NON-CONFERENCE Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa at Osakis, 3:30 p.m. Girls Tennis SECTION 6A FINAL Minnewaska vs. Melrose at Fargo, 7:30 a.m.