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High School Tennis: Willmar moves on in the playoffs

The Cardinals beat Rocori for the third time in eighth days in the South Sub-Section 8AA tournament. Top-seeded Becker is next.

100720.S.WCT.Willmar GTennis Alyssa Morrell
Willmar's Alyssa Morrell hits a forehand shot during her No. 1 singles match in the South Sub-Section 8AA quarterfinal against Rocori from Willmar High School. Patrick Bernadeau / West Central Tribune

WILLMAR — The Willmar girls tennis team has Rocori’s number.

After defeating the Spartans twice last week, the Cardinals collected their third victory over their Central Lakes Conference foes in eight days following a 6-1 triumphTuesday. It was a South Sub-Section 8AA quarterfinal from Willmar High School.

The Cards won 17 of 21 matches against Rocori this season.

100720.S.WCT.Willmar GTennis Adali Laidlaw
Playing with teammate Caroline Becker at No. 1 doubles, Willmar's Adali Laidlaw hits a backhand return during the South Sub-Section 8AA quarterfinal against Rocori from Willmar High School. Patrick Bernadeau / West Central Tribune

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Willmar, the No. 4 seed in the South bracket, advances to the semifinals at 4 p.m. Thursday at top-seed Becker.

100720.S.WCT.Willmar GTennis Caroline Becker
Playing with teammate Adali Laidlaw at No. 1 doubles, Willmar's Caroline Becker hits a forehand shot in the South Sub-Section 8AA quarterfinal against Rocori from Willmar High School. Patrick Bernadeau / West Central Tribune

Favoring a minor hand injury, Cardinals senior Alyssa Morrell dropped the first set of her match against Kathryn Headlee 7-5 at No. 1 singles. Morrell iced her hand in between sets, but she gritted her way to the win, taking the next two sets 6-0, 6-4.

Kessa Mara and Allie Bruhn added straight-set wins at No. 3 and No. 4 singles for the Cardinals.

100720.S.WCT.Willmar GTennis Alise Staebell 2
Playing with teammate Ashlie Staebell at No. 2 doubles, Willmar's Alise Staebell hits a backhand return during the South Sub-Section 8AA quarterfinal against Rocori from Willmar High School. Patrick Bernadeau / West Central Tribune

The only other match that went the distance was at third singles.

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Willmar’s Rebecca Laurence and Kylee Berget prevailed over Ayla Vettelson and Teanna Horn 6-2, 5-7, 7-5 (6).

100720.S.WCT.Willmar GTennis Ashlie Staebell.JPG
Playing with teammate Alise Staebell at No. 2 doubles, Willmar's Ashlie Staebell hits a backhand return during the South Sub-Section 8AA quarterfinal against Rocori from Willmar High School. Patrick Bernadeau / West Central Tribune

At the top of the doubles lineup, the Cards duo of Caroline Becker and Adali Laidlaw got by Shelby Garding and Kirsten Wieling 6-3, 6-2. In second doubles, Alise and Ashlie Staebell beat Abby Jopp and MacKenzie Galazen 6-4 6-3.

Adeline Loesch earned the only victory for No. 5 Rocori. She defeated Ashley Pitzen 6-3, 6-2.

100720.S.WCT.Willmar GTennis Alise Staebell
Playing with teammate Ashlie Staebell at No. 2 doubles, Willmar's Alise Staebell hits a backhand return behind the baseline during the South Sub-Section 8AA quarterfinal against Rocori from Willmar High School. Patrick Bernadeau / West Central Tribune

Willmar 6,
Rocori 1

Singles
(1) Alyssa Morrell, W, def Kathryn Headlee 5-7 6-0 6-4 (2) Adeline Loesch, R, def Ashley Pitzen 6-2 7-5 (3) Kessa Mara, W, def Katie Kaluza 6-3 6-1 (4) Allie Bruhn, W, def Kaylee Andrusick 7-6 (4) 6-2
Doubles
(1) Caroline Becker/Adali Laidlaw, W, def Shelby Garding/Kirsten Wieling 6-3 6-2 (2) Alise Staebell/Ashlie Staebell, W, def Abby Jopp/MacKenzie Galazen 6-4 6-3 (3) Rebecca Laurence/Kylee Berget, W, def Ayla Vettelson/Teanna Horn 6-2 5-7 7-6 (5)

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100720.S.WCT.Willmar GTennis Ashley Pitzen
Willmar's Ashley Pitzen hits a backhand shot from the baseline during her No. 2 singles match in the South Sub-Section 8AA quarterfinal against Rocori from Willmar High School. Patrick Bernadeau / West Central Tribune

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