After starting the season with a 2-3 mark, Monticello has quickly righted the ship. In recent weeks the Magic have turned those close losses into easy wins, churning out eight straight team wins to go along with a second-place finish at a four-team tournament in Hutchinson Friday, where three Magic singles players were crowned individual champions.
The Magic credit the winning streak to two things, a lineup change and hard work.
“We made one switch,” said Bordwell. “We brought Kendra Stoick to four singles and moved Taylor [Arthur] into three doubles. Both have been very successful at those spots.”
Captain Brooke Volpone says the Magic knew they needed just a bit more work, along with that lineup change, to help them turn things around.
“We realized what we were doing wrong at first, and we realized we didn’t like losing,” said Volpone. “We just put in that extra work, and now we’re over that hump, hopefully.”
Monticello added big wins over conference nemesis Buffalo and St. Michael-Albertville last week, sweeping two teams that generally give them some trouble.
Friday, they carried that momentum into a four-team tournament at Hutchinson. Despite missing a player from their No. 1 doubles team (and having to adjust their lineup accordingly) Monticello pulled out a second-place finish, coming up just short of Hutchinson, the tournament champions.
Monticello did have three individual winners. Alex Revenig and Brooke Volpone were both undefeated, at No. 1 and No. 3 singles respectively, while No. 2 singles player Grace Sawatzke went 2-1 but won her pool based on a tie-break.
Revenig provided the biggest win of the day for the Magic, knocking off Foley’s top player, who entered the match as the No. 4 ranked player in Class A.
“I had nothing to lose, it was a lot of fun,” said Revenig, who won in a third set tie-break, after losing to the same girl in an even closer tie-break earlier this season.
That match helped give Monticello a one-point edge over Foley for the day.
Monticello got 9 wins out of its singles players, despite having to bump Stoick back to doubles for the day.
“I think that’s what everybody talks about, is that our singles lineup is pretty tough,” said Bordwell.
Doubles also performed well on Friday with the No. 2 team (Sydney Antony/Maria Becker) and the No. 3 team (Myranda Anderson/Arthur) each winning two out of their three matches.
Now, with momentum and confidence on their side, Monticello enters the toughest portion of its schedule. This Saturday, they’ll face three tough teams, and two of them will be among the most significant matches they play this season.
The Magic were already set to host a triangular with Orono and section rival St. Cloud Tech, but now they’ve added a match with Chisago Lakes to their morning, as they’ll take on the conference rival at 8 a.m.
Monticello and Chisago are currently tied atop the Mississippi 8 conference. If the Magic want to accomplish the goals they’ve set, they know they all but have to win on Saturday.
“This year our goal is to win conference,” said Volpone. “I think that’s on everyone’s mind.”
Bordwell says Chisago brings a tough singles lineup of their own to town, meaning it should provide an exciting matchup.
“It’s going to be a great match,” he said.
After that, Monticello will turn its attention to Tech, the top-rated team in sections, just one spot ahead of Monticello.
The Magic know the schedule gets tough, but their recent play has them believing they can compete with anyone.
“It gives us a lot of confidence,” said Volpone. “I go out there expecting I’m going to win, all of our singles are going to win, our doubles are going to win and we’re going to come out of this [with a win].”
Contact Clay Sawatzke at [email protected]