The Magic entered the season with two main goals. Both were historic, as neither one had been previously accomplished by a Magic girls tennis team.
One was to win the conference championship. They accomplished that, or at least a share of it, with an impressive regular season that saw them take just one loss in Mississippi 8 play.
Two, it appeared, would be slightly tougher. The Magic entered postseason play looking to make their first-ever section final, which they knew meant they would eventually have to go through the North’s No. 1 seed to get there.
Monticello dispatched Bemidji 5-2 Friday afternoon, sweeping all four singles matches, to advance to that first-ever section final.
“We played outstanding,” said Coach Jeff Bordwell, who expected a 4-3 match in either direction.
Bordwell wasn’t shocked that the Magic swept at singles, he knew that was their best chance. But with the result already determined, Monticello added another victory, getting an upset win from the No. 3 doubles team of Taylor Arthur and Myranda Anderson.
“They beat a team that was undefeated on the year,” said Bordwell.
Three of the four singles winners won in straight sets, with Alex Revenig and Kendra Stoick winning 6-1, 6-1 and Grace Sawatzke winning 6-0, 7-6. Brooke Volpone dropped the second set of her match, but bounced back with a 6-3 win in the final set, sealing Monticello’s bid into the section final.
The Magic knew they faced an uphill battle in the section finals, squaring off against a powerhouse St. Cloud Tech program, and it proved to be too big of a mountain to climb.
The Tigers beat Monticello, 6-1.
“We had to play our best tennis and they had to struggle a little bit,” said Bordwell. “But they played very well. They took it to us.”
Monticello’s lone victory came courtesy of Stoick at No. 4 singles, continuing a long run of success for her after she was moved to singles early in the season.
“When we made that move early in the year to put Kendra at four singles, it was a really good move,” said Bordwell. “She just doesn’t lose there.”
Monticello dropped the other six matches in straight sets. But by reaching their first-ever section final, they not only checked off another goal, but guaranteed themselves a spot on the list of best all-time Magic tennis teams.
“I would consider this one of the best [teams], if not the best,” said Bord-well. “We knew what we wanted to do, and we did it.”
Monticello’s individual seasons were wrapped up Saturday evening, but not before Revenig made a strong push for a state tournament bid. Revenig, who along with Sawatzke, advanced to the final eight of individual play, won her first match in three sets, guaranteeing a top four finish.
She dropped her semifinal match to the eventual section champion from St. Cloud Tech, but bounced back with a win in the third place match, earning her a shot at true second and a state tournament bid.
Revenig came up just short, falling in a third set tiebreak to Katelyn Tarrolly from Tech. Bordwell and his staff were impressed with Revenig’s postseason performance.
“We were amazed at the court coverage she had,” he said. “She upped her game to play at that level.”
Contact Clay Sawatzke at firstname.lastname@example.org