Kelly Wu

Junior Kelly Wu won at No. 2 singles in Prior Lake’s 5-2 conference win over Apple Valley Sept. 24.

The Prior Lake girls tennis team will head into the Section 2AA playoffs with a win.

The Lakers rolled to a 6-1 victory versus Rosemount Sept. 26 to finish the South Suburban Conference season with a 5-4 mark.

Prior Lake (9-8 overall) also earned a 5-2 win at Apple Valley Sept. 24 and suffered a 5-2 loss to Eastview the day before in two more league matches.

Section 2AA play starts Sept. 30 with the first round. Prior Lake looks to be the No. 3 or 4 seed in the field. Second-ranked Minnetonka will be the No. 1 seed. The Skippers have won the last two crowns and 10 of the last 12.

Prior Lake beat the Skippers in the title match in both 2016 and 2017. The Lakers made five straight Class AA state appearances from 2012 to 2016, winning Section 3AA championship three straight years from 2012 to 2014.

For complete section brackets when they are released go to mshsl.org.

In the win over Apple Valley, Prior Lake swept all four singles matches in straight sets.

Eighth-grader Tianna Houske won at the No. 1 spot (6-2, 6-1), while junior Kelly Wu rolled at No. 2 (6-1, 6-1). Junior Kaitlyn Lam cruised at the third spot (6-2, 6-3), and eighth-grader Rose Netz won at No. 4 (6-4, 6-0).

In doubles, senior Nic Keller and ninth-grader Alyssa Lam won at the top spot for Prior Lake in straight sets (6-3, 6-3).

In the loss to Eastview, the Lakers’ wins came from junior Julieta Mazzoldi at No. 4 singles (6-3, 6-1) and senior Gabby Betzold and junior Grace Mahowald at No. 3 doubles (6-4, 6-1).

Against Rosemount, the Lakers swept all three doubles matches. Winning were Keller and Houske at No. 1 (6-0, 6-3), Wu and eighth-grader Ella Joesting at No. 2 (6-3, 6-1) and Kaitlyn Lam and Mahowald at No. 3 (6-0, 6-0).

Singles wins went to Betzold at No. 2 (2-6, 6-2, 7-5), Mazzoldi at No. 3 (6-1, 6-2) and sophomore Liza Ginzburg at No. 5 (6-3, 6-0).

The section singles and doubles tournaments start Oct. 12 with the semifinals and title matches for both on Oct. 19 down in St. Peter.

Prior Lake has had a lot of success at state the last three years in doubles play. Last year, Keller and then-senior Charlotte Bowles were the state runner-ups. Bowles and Taylor Jackson won the state doubles crown in 2017, as did Jackson and Savanna Crowell in 2016.

The Lakers have had at least two doubles teams at state the past three seasons.

This year’s Class AA state tournament is set for Oct. 22-25 at the Baseline Tennis Center in Minneapolis. The team tourney is the first two days, followed by the singles and doubles tournaments the next two days.

Tom Schardin covers sports for Savage and Prior Lake. He is dependable, sarcastic and always joking around. Tom enjoys running and swimming and is often busy coaching his two kids' sports teams.

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