MINNEAPOLIS – Blue Earth Area singles player Addison Armstrong didn’t break the top 100 mark in her prep tennis career without competing against some of the top contenders.
Today will be no different for Armstrong or Buc teammates Olivia Dutton and Grace Hanson as the trio opens the Class A tennis meet at the Reed-Sweatt Tennis Center in Minneapolis.
Armstrong, who enters the tournament with 101 career wins, faces Pine City sophomore Brooke Boland in the 8 o’clock first singles match. Boland has 74 wins in his three varsity starts, highlighted by a 28-9 record this fall.
If Armstrong beats Boland, the top BEA representative could face No. 1 seed and undefeated Isabelle Einess in the quarterfinals.
Einess, who has compiled a perfect 45-0 record in his last two seasons at Breck, is not only the defending Class A champion, but also earned second-team honors as a sophomore at Minnehaha Academy in 2021.
Einess opens her final high school state tennis meet with Montevideo junior Brooke Lindeman (17-3) at 8 a.m. today.
Einess is no stranger to Armstrong as the two clashed in the 2022 state meet, the Breck phenom beating the BEA standout in the quarterfinals. Armstrong recorded the first win over Addison Sell of Pine City last year.
In the opposite half of the Class A singles bracket, No. 2-seeded Annika Harberts Ott (15-3) of Providence Academy opens against Thief River Falls sophomore Braylee Wienen (27-3) at 8 a.m. today.
Unfortunately for Harberts Ott, his opening scenes have been very difficult.
Harberts Ott lost to Einess in the first match of 2022 after reaching 2021 Class A state champion Ancele Dolensek of Minnehaha Academy in the opening round.
In today’s Class A doubles match from 10 am, Dutton and Hanson face the same fate as Harberts Ott from 2021 and 2022.
Dutton (17-8) and Hanson (19-6), who played No. 2 and No. 3 singles in the regular season this fall, won against defending Class A state doubles champion Greta Johnson (14-6) and Chloe Alley. (16-2) of Minnehaha Academy in their first game.
If Dutton and Hanson win their opening doubles, the Bucs tandem will face the winner between freshman Isla Dille and senior Olivia Olson of Litchfield and Pine City senior Lexa Valvoda and sophomore Alana Lindell.
Dille, like Dutton, qualified for singles a year ago and won the first tournament before falling in the quarterfinals. Meanwhile, Dutton lost to Le Sueur-Henderson’s Chloe Brandt in the opening round of the 2022 singles.
Surprisingly, Johnson and Alley are the No. 2 seeds in this year’s state behind senior Nana Vang and freshman Fatemeh Vang of The Blake School. Most impressively, Rochester Lourdes’ Elyse Palen and Caroline Daly, the 2022 Class A state doubles, are ranked No. 3 in the division this fall.