Park Rapids Girls Tennis Sending Three to State
The Park Rapids girls tennis team had an exceptional season, making it to the team Section 8A final. But after a tough loss to East Grand Forks, the singles and doubles players had just one day to regroup and make history of their own.
“I knew that it was just done and that we had to move on, and that we had a chance, so we needed to focus on that if we wanted to get anywhere,” says Park Rapids senior Kendra Coburn.
And what the Panthers got was champions in the singles and doubles tournaments for the first time in school history. In singles, senior Natalie Kinkel won 48 sets to just two losses on her way to her first section crown.
“Second place was good last year, but first place, that was my goal all season, and I just wanted to beat Jodi [Ostroski] from Roseau,” says Kinkel.
“She just wanted to be the section champ this year because last year she got second and other years, she really wanted to go and others were just a little better than her,” says head coach Brianne Morris.
“I was playing consistent during those matches because I knew I could beat everybody. So I just took it point by point, and took all of them,” says Kinkel.
In doubles, Coborn and freshman Abby Morris, both traditional singles players, joined together and had to create quick chemistry to take down the field.
“It took a little bit, a few practices,” says Coburn. “It was pretty hard. But once we got to the sections we kind of knew we had to do it so it worked out.”
“I never thought I’d get this far at this young of an age,” says Morris. “I knew it was possible, but I never thought it would happen.”
They’ll have a tough task going against the top players in the state, but they’re already proud of how far they’ve come.
“I think we’re just going in trying to have fun, already happy that we’ve made it this far,” says Morris. “But we’re also going to give it our all.”
“Just enjoy it,” says Morris. “Because getting to state is so exciting, and an accomplishment in itself.”