Ashley King

Eighth-grader Ashley King won at No. 3 doubles with playing partner Avery Sawchuk in Burnsville’s 7-0 win at Bloomington Jefferson Sept. 20.

The Burnsville girls tennis team fell just short of the South Suburban Conference title.

The No. 8-ranked Blaze had their 11-match winning streak end Sept. 24 with a 4-3 loss at Lakeville South. A win would have given Burnsville a share of the league crown.

The Blaze (13-5 overall, 7-2 in the SSC) ended the regular season Sept. 25 with a 4-3 home loss to Benilde-St. Margaret’s in a battle of Section 6AA foes.

“Lakeville South is a great team, and we put ourselves in position to win the match,” Blaze coach Ryan Haddoff said. “We had a couple three-setters that didn’t go our way, but I am proud of our girls. They always compete with class and honor.”

The Section 6AA team tourney starts Oct. 2 with the first round, while the quarterfinals are Oct. 3. The higher seed is at home. The semifinals and title match are Oct. 8 at Lifetime Fitness in Lakeville.

Top-ranked Edina, winners of 21 of the last 22 Class AA state titles, will be the No. 1 seed. Eastview looks to be the No. 2, followed by Benilde-St. Margaret’s and the Blaze.

Eastview beat Burnsville 4-3 in SSC play way back on Aug. 22.

For complete section brackets when they become available, go to mshsl.org.

Against Lakeville South, two matches went three sets and the Cougars won both of them as well as sweeping doubles. Burnsville won three of four in singles.

Junior Brooke Haddorff cruised at the No. 2 spot (6-0, 6-0) for Burnsville. Junior Mara McMahon rolled at No. 3 (6-3, 6-3) and eighth-grader Addie Bowlby won at No. 4 (7-5, 6-4).

Junior Sami Bowlby lost a three-setter at No. 1 singles (6-2, 4-6, 6-3), while senior Avery Sawchuk and eighth-grader Ashley King fell in three sets at No. 3 doubles (6-7, 6-4, 6-2).

In the loss to Benilde, wins for Burnsville came from Haddorff at No. 1 singles (6-1, 7-5), Sami Bowlby at No. 2 (6-1, 7-5) and Addie Bowlby at No. 3 (6-2, 6-3).

The Section 6AA singles and doubles tournaments are Oct. 14-15 at Lifetime Fitness in Lakeville. The last time Burnsville had a singles player or doubles team compete at state was in 2007.

Niltooli Wilkins won the Class AA state singles title for Burnsville in 2007. She was runner-up the year before. Judy Wang also won a state singles title for the Blaze in 1997.

This year’s Class AA state team tournament is scheduled for Oct. 22-23 at its annual site, the Baseline Tennis Center in Minneapolis. The state singles and doubles tournaments are 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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