Litch doubles, Monte singles player advance

Stilwell and Bierbaum’s hopes for a state title still alive

MINNEAPOLIS — A pair of doubles teams from Litchfield and a singles player from Montevideo moved on to the final day of the Class A state girls tennis individual tournament after wins Thursday from the Reed Sweatt Family Tennis Center.

Dragons juniors Elise Bierbaum and Avery Stilwell, the No. 2 seed in the doubles tournament, advanced to the semifinals after a pair of straight-set victories while senior teammates Neriah Lara and Vaida Behnke will play in the consolation semifinals.

Meanwhile, Kori Douglas will be the area’s only player in action during singles competition Friday. The Thunder Hawks junior dropped her opening match to Eveleth-Gilbert freshman and No. 4 seed Lydia Delich 6-3, 6-4, but rebounded with a 6-2, 6-2 triumph over New London-Spicer sophomore Izzy Schmiesing. Douglas is scheduled to battle Rochester Lourdes junior Jane Spading Friday at 8 a.m.

Also in singles play, Wildcats junior Ava Hanson captured a first-round win over Perham/New York Mills senior Jade Lenius by the score of 6-1, 7-5, but her season came to an end after falling to Blake junior Sonia Baig in straight sets during the quarterfinals.

The singles bracket featured just one upset, as Pequot Lakes sophomore Megan Muller, who defeated Schmiesing in the first round, earned a spot in the semifinals with a straight-set win over Delich. She will face the top seed and tournament favorite Arlina Shen. The senior from Blake is in search of her second consecutive state singles title, and fifth-straight singles crown for the program.


As for the doubles tournament, the bracket went chalk.

Following a first-round win against Virginia junior Anneka Lundgren and Jacie Smith, Stilwell and Bierbaum sealed their place in the semis when then moved past Thief River Falls senior Khloe Lund and Bela Nelson 6-4, 6-2. With a spot in the finals on the line, Stilwell and Bierbaum take on the Blake seniors combo of Emily Melin and Caroline Cameron, the tournament’s No. 3 seed, at 8 a.m. Friday.

Lara and Behnke could not manage much success in the first-round match against No. 4 seed Anna Seitz and Ava Warren. The Virginia senior pairing were victorious 6-2, 6-0. However, the Litchfield seniors kept their season alive when they moved past Crookston juniors Catherine Tiedemann and Emma Borowicz 6-2, 3-6, 10-8.

Elsewhere, Minnewaska was represented in doubles action by senior Danielle Thorfinnson and sophomore Alissa Thorfinnson. The sisters, who were the No. 5 seed in the tournament, defeated Tiedemann and Borowicz in straight sets, but took a crushing quarterfinal loss on the chin to Seitz and Warren, 6-4, 5-7, 7-5.


State first round
#5 Megan Muller, Pequot Lakes, def. Izzy Schmiesing, New London-Spicer, 6-2, 6-3
#4 Lydia Delich, Eveleth-Gilbert Area, def. Kori Douglas, Montevideo, 6-3, 6-3
Ava Hanson, NLS, def. Jade Lenius, Perham/New York Mills, 6-1, 7-5
State quarterfinals
Sonia Baig, Blake, def. Hanson, 6-0, 6-0
Consolation quarterfinals
Douglas, M, def. Schmiesing, 6-2, 6-2


State first round
#5 Danielle Thorfinnson/Alissa Thorfinnson, Minnewaska, def. Catherine Tiedemann/Emma Borowicz, Crookston, 6-0, 7-5
#4 Anna Seitz/Ava Warren, Virginia, def. Neriah Lara/Vaida, Litchfield, 6-2, 6-0
#2 Avery Stilwell/Elise Bierbaum, L, def. Anneka Lundgren/Jacie Smith, V, 6-2, 6-1
State quarterfinals
#4 Seitz/Warren, V, def. D. Thorfinnson/A. Thorfinnson, M, 6-4, 5-7, 7-5
#2 Stilwell/Bierbaum, L, def. Khloe Lund/Bela Nelson, Thief River Falls, 6-4, 6-2
Consolation quarterfinals
Lara/Behnke, L, def. Tiedemann/Borowicz, C, 6-2, 3-6, 10-8
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