It was an early morning as Woodbury, East Ridge and Park tennis players arrived to Lifetime Fitness on Friday at 8 a.m. to begin the opening rounds of the individual tennis section tournament.
Each team had two singles players and two doubles pairings that were entered into the tournament. The first, second and third rounds were completed throughout the day and only four singles players and four doubles pairings were left to advance to Tuesday's final day of the tournament.
Woodbury came off its team section title on Thursday night and the momentum went right into Friday as the Royals have one singles player and both doubles pairings in the semifinals for Tuesday's day two play.
Senior Delaney Schurhamer earned the No. 1 seed in the singles section tournament as she's ranked fourth overall in the state, according to Minnesota Tennis Coaches Association rankings.
Schurhamer dominated on Friday never losing a set and reaching the semifinals pretty easily. She defeated Measee Dah from St. Paul Humboldt 6-0, 6-0 in the first round and then beat Madysen Krone from South St. Paul 6-0, 6-0 in the second round. Finally, she won 6-0, 6-0 over Morgan Redden from Cretin-Derham Hall in the third round.
She will face off against Sonya Ramesh from Rosemount in the semifinals starting on Tuesday, Oct. 15.
Senior Natalie Mercill was the other singles player for Woodbury and she made a strong run on Friday, but lost in the third round to be eliminated. She started the day with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Visitation's Alice Ryan in the first round and came back with another win over South St. Paul's Lilie Ramirez with a 6-3, 6-1 final.
In the third round, Mercill fell to Harding's Amanye Reynolds 6-2, 6-1 to end her individual tournament. She will still be competing in the team portion at the state tournament with the Royals.
Woodbury also had two strong doubles pairings entered into the section tournament and both are looking strong heading into Tuesday. First, the two sisters Julie and Brittany Nguyen are the No. 1 seed in the doubles tournament.
The two of them won their first round 6-0, 6-0 against a pairing from St. Paul Humboldt and then defeated a Tartan duo 6-0, 6-0 in the second round. The third round was another straight set win for the Nguyen sisters as they won 6-0, 6-2 against a South St. Paul pairing to advance to the semifinals on Tuesday.
The two sisters will face off against Paw Htoo and Emma Clift from St. Paul Central in the semifinals and could potentially face off against the other Woodbury pairing in the finals if they were to win the semifinals.
The other pairing is a sister to Julie and Brittany as Ashley Nguyen and Ashley Stroebel have been partners all season. That chemistry between the two has shown in the first three rounds of the tournament.
The two of them won 7-5, 6-0 against Park's doubles pairing and then beat a Cretin-Derham Hall duo in the second round with a 6-3, 6-0 final. Finally, the Woodbury pairing defeated a Simley pairing in the third round with a 6-1, 6-4 final to advance to the semifinals.
They will play Madeline Smith and Jaelyn Orth from Henry Sibley in the semifinals on Tuesday.
The Park girls' tennis team had some strong runs in singles and doubles on Friday for the section tournament, but none of them were able to reach the semifinals and advance to Tuesday.
In singles, Park had sophomores Dana Petrie and Kate Townsend compete in the tournament. Petrie had a strong first round and won 6-0, 6-3 over Henry Sibley's Eleanor Smith, but lost in the second round 6-2, 6-2 to Simley's Clara Thoemke.
Townsend had a strong run as well with a first round 6-1, 6-1 win over Sushman Shankar from Eagan to advance to the second round. She won the next round 6-2, 6-4 over East Ridge's Fabiola Ramirez.
Townsend went into the third round and played Cretin-Derham Hall's Lily Cade and lost 6-3, 7-5 to end her run at the section tournament.
Avie Morris and Caitlyn Swigart were paired up for one of Park's doubles pairings and the two won their first round match 1-6, 6-4, 6-1 over a Cretin-Derham Hall duo. In the second round, the Wolfpack girls fell 6-1, 6-4 to a South St. Paul pairing to end their run on Friday.
The other pairing for Park was Abby Fjelsta and Hannah Holmgren, but the two of them lost in the first round 7-5, 6-0 to a Woodbury doubles pairing.
The East Ridge girls' tennis team sent a few girls to the individual section tournament on Friday, but none of the players were able to reach the semifinals at the end of the day. Therefore, the Raptors season has come to an end this fall.
In singles, the Raptors had junior Fabiola Ramirez as one of the entries and she earned a 6-0, 6-0 win over Lucy Friedl from St. Paul Central in the first round. Ramirez couldn't earn the win in the second round as Park's Kate Townsend won 6-2, 6-4 to end her run in the tournament.
Freshman Taylor Mares was the other singles player for the Raptors and she ended her day in the first round with a 6-1, 6-2 loss to Simley's Clara Thoemke.
In the doubles tournament, Abbie Marshall and Liv Meinders partnered up as one of East Ridge's pairings. The two of them lost in the first round to a St. Paul Central duo 6-2, 6-4 and that ended their day.
The other pairing for the Raptors was Hannah Marshall and Anna Tokheim and the two of them won the first round 6-1, 6-0 over a Rosemount pairing. Then, the two lost in the second round 6-1, 3-6, 6-0 against a Henry Sibley duo to end their run on Friday.
Schurhamer and the two Woodbury doubles pairings will start their semifinals matches on Tuesday, Oct. 15, at Lifetime Fitness in Lakeville. The matches are scheduled to start at 4 p.m., but there's a possibility that the matches could be moved up to 2 p.m. if all the coaches agreed.
The semifinals and finals will be played on Tuesday afternoon and evening. The top two finishers in singles and the top two finishers in doubles will earn a spot in the state tournament on Thursday, Oct. 24, and Friday, Oct. 25, at the Baseline Tennis Center on the University of Minnesota campus.