FAIRMONT — Only the biting midges — aka no-see-ums — slowed down the No. 2-seeded Fairmont Cardinals’ progress in advancing to the Section 2A team semifinals on Monday at the Cardinal Courts.
Fairmont made a clean straight-sets sweep of the doubles divisions, while pocketing three more straight-set wins in the singles bracket to spoil the No. 7-seeded United South Central Rebels’ cause, 6-1, during sectional quarterfinal action in Fairmont.
Fairmont (13-7), the defending Section 2 champion, will square off against No. 3-seeded Blue Earth Area in an 11 a.m. sectional team semifinal on Thursday at the Swanson Tennis Center on the Gustavus Adolphus College campus in St. Peter.
The sectional championship dual meet is slated for 1 p.m. Thursday at the same venue.
“One at a time now,” Fairmont assistant coach Tim Slama said in reference to he and Cardinal head coach Laura Olsen’s approach to the postseason.
Ironically, the No. 3 doubles tandem of Emelia Klanderud and Solveig Senf captured the Cardinals’ initial team tally that triggered a domino effect in three of the four singles matches.
Emelia Klanderud and Senf reeled off back-to-back 6-1 set victories over Claire Schimek and Emma Johnson to stake the red-and-white to a 1-0 lead on the team ledger only 5 minutes before Elly Stegge doubled Fairmont’s team lead.
Stegge fended off Maya Hansen in their opening set, 6-4, at fourth singles before collecting a 6-3 win in the second segment.
Two minutes later, Hope Klanderud hammered her way to a 6-1, 6-2 hard-fought decision over USC’s Kelsie Chapman at first singles. Klanderud utilized her stellar groundstrokes to break early and often in the opening segment before rallying from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits in Set 2 for the sweep and a 3-0 Fairmont lead.
Lauren Hansen collected USC’s lone point on the strength of a 6-1, 6-1 win over Brynn Gustafson at third singles before Fairmont’s Johanna Petschke and Anika Haugen served up the quarterfinal-clinching point at No. 1 doubles.
Petschke and Haugen rallied from an early first-set deficit with pivotal service breaks in Games 3 and 7, respectively, to pace a 6-3 opening-set win over Olivia Bungum and Addison Mithun. Petschke’s lethal serving and Haugen’s angle-covering skills paced the Cardinal pair’s 6-1 second-set win to garner the fourth team tally.
Lilly Laven and Paige Linse combined court talents at the No. 2 position in the bracket and cut short a first-set rally by USC opponents Julianna Clore and Ivy O’Rourke, 6-4. Laven and Linse outdueled Clore and O’Rourke in the second set, 6-2.
Abi Peyman then put the exclamation point on the Cardinals’ sectional team quarterfinal triumph by outlasting Brylee Neubauer at second singles, 6-2, 6-3.
Peyman and Neubauer held serve for a down-to-the-wire second segment to 4-3 before Peyman finally earned the pivotal break to claim the team point.
Fairmont 6, USC 1
• Hope Klanderud (FMT) def. Kelsie Chapman, 6-1, 6-2.
• Abi Peyman (FMT) def. Brylee Neubauer, 6-2, 6-3.
• Lauren Hansen (USC) def. Brynn Gustafson, 6-1, 6-1.
• Elly Stegge (FMT) def. Maya Hansen, 6-4, 6-3.
• Johanna Petschke-Anika Haugen (FMT) def. Olivia Bungum-Addison Mithun, 6-3, 6-1.
• Lilly Laven-Paige Linse (FMT) def. Julianna Clore-Ivy O’Rourke, 6-4, 6-2.
• Emelia Klanderud-Solveig Senf (FMT) def. Claire Schimek-Emma Johnson, 6-1, 6-1.
Blue Earth Area 7, River Valley 0 — The No. 3-seeded Bucs made a clean sweep of their Section 2A team quarterfinal with the No. 6-seeded Wildcats on Monday at Hal Schroeder Courts in Blue Earth.
Blue Earth Area (9-11) advances to face No. 2-seeded Fairmont in an 11 a.m. sectional team semifinal on Thursday at the Swanson Courts on the Gustavus Adolphus College campus in St. Peter. The Section 2A team championship is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday at the same site.
The Bucs garnered three straight-set wins in the singles bracket, while reeling off two team points in the doubles competition via back-to-back sets.
BEA’s Addison Armstrong lost only a total of four games in posting a 6-0, 6-4 triumph over River Valley’s Taylor Berkner during first singles action.
Olivia Dutton netted a 6-2, 6-4 decision over Brissa Hernandez for the Bucs during No. 2 singles play, while BEA’s Lauren Survis coasted to back-to-back 6-2 set triumphs over Jillian Mays at the No. 4 spot in the singles bracket.
Grace Hanson collected the Bucs’ final singles tally by outdueling Courtlyn Runck in a three-setter at the third position in the division. Runck collected a 6-2 first-set win before Hanson bounced back to merit the next two frames, 6-4 and 6-3, respectively.
BEA’s Erika Gaydon and McKinley teamed forces at No. 2 doubles to roll to a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Chloe Okerman and Emma Contreras-Ramirez, while the Bucs’ third tandem of Erin Prescher and Addison Prescher proved perfect in collecting back-to-back 6-0 set wins over Dani Junker and Bronwyn Sorenson.
Ashlyn Klinkner and Carol Schrader lost a hard-fought 6-4 first-set decision to River Valley’s Kiera Lafferty and Gabby Anderson before the Bucs’ No. 1 doubles duo nearly swept the second and third sets, 6-1 and 6-0, respectively.
Blue Earth Area 7,
River Valley 0
• Addison Armstrong (BEA) def. Taylor Berkner, 6-0, 6-4.
• Olivia Dutton (BEA) def. Brissa Hernandez, 6-2, 6-4.
• Grace Hanson (BEA) def. Courtlyn Runck, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.
• Lauren Survis (BEA) def. Jillian Mays, 6-2, 6-2.
• Ashlyn Klinkner-Carol Schrader (BEA) def. Kiera Lafferty-Gabby Anderson, 4-6, 6-1, 6-0.
• Erika Gaydon-McKinley Hanson (BEA) def. Chloe Okerman-Emma Contreras-Ramirez, 6-0, 6-2.
• Erin Prescher-Addison Prescher (BEA) def. Dani Junker-Bronwyn Sorenson, 6-0, 6-0.