October 13, 2022 at 9:26 p.m.
Hokanson advances to semifinals in section tournament
Two individuals and a pair of doubles competitors represented Sauk Centre at the Section 6A Individual Tournament, with Hailey Hokanson advancing to the semifinals and a shot at the Class A State Girls Tennis Individual Tournament Oct. 12 at Rogers Tennis Club in Rogers.
Hokanson entered the bracket as the No. 2 seed and made quick work of No. 15 Lucy Trowbridge of Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa in the first round. The senior controlled the entire court in a 6-0, 6-0 win to advance to next stage of the playoffs.
The reliable performer then ran into a little bit of trouble against conference foe Alia Randt of Minnewaska Area, ranked No. 7 in the section. Hokanson demonstrated her authority with a 6-1 victory in set one before Randt responded well with a 7-5 win of her own in set two.
Hokanson and Randt played a mightily-competitive third and final set, with Hokanson closing out a massive 6-4 win to keep her incredible upperclassmen campaign alive.
Sauk Centre displayed grit and toughness in Rogers, but no other Streeters managed to pull out wins in their respective first-round matches. Lydia Peterson, situated in the 16th seed, lost Osakis’s Leah Maddock, the top seed in the entire tournament, by a score of 6-0, 6-0.
The Streeters presented two doubles teams in the eventful competition. Its top combination of senior Addy Hoffman and sophomore Emma Klaphake, seeded sixth, stole games in both of their first-round sets but failed to sustain this success in a 6-2, 6-1 loss to Minnewaska Area’s Olivia Bleick and Sydney Dahl, while Abbie Masog and Michelle Straub lost 6-0, 6-0 to Litchfield’s potent doubles duo Lauren Erickson and Olivia Olson in battle of the second and 15th seeds.
While these defeats signal the end of a majority of the Streeters team, Hokanson’s wins have put her in a position to compete for a spot at state. Four athletes remain in the singles bracket, with Hokanson facing No. 3-seeded Isla Dille of the Section 6A champion Litchfield Dragons. If Hokanson wins, she would advance to the Section 6A individual championship match against either Maddock or New London-Spicer Wildcat Mya Mayhew, who Hokanson has faced twice this season.
If Hokanson wins her semifinal showdown with Dille and loses in the championship, she can still advance to the state tournament, depending the results of the third-place match. A loss would signal the end of her season.
The Section 6A Individual Tournament continues at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18, at Rogers Tennis Club in Rogers.