by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Elk River coach LeRoyce Chapman had a pep talk planned for the Elks as they got ready to start playoffs Monday, but found her players had beaten her to it.
“Two of my players had speeches prepared,” said Chapman, naming Brooke Burns and Hadley Purdy. “We are ready! We think we can do it.”
The Elks beat Chisago Lakes 7-0 at home Monday in their final home match, and now face unbeaten Forest Lake on Tuesday at the Rangers courts, slated for 3:30 p.m.
Elk River (15-5) has won section titles and advanced to state seven straight years, beating Forest Lake in six of those years, but this year the senior-laden Rangers (22-0) are the clear favorite, with two 5-2 wins over the Elks already this season.
In fact, the Elks were seeded only fourth in the sub-section and this marks the first time in eight years they’ve had to play a sub-section match on the road.
Chapman said she is “very impressed” with the Rangers’ skills and maturity this year but thinks an upset is possible. In the Elks’ 5-2 loss to the Rangers two weeks ago, four matches went to a third-set tiebreaker, all won by the Rangers. The Elks would need to turn a couple close matches like that around.
“It’s going to be fun,” the coach said.
Elk River 7, Chisago Lakes 0
(1) Meagan Brown, ER, def Allison Hindt 6-2, 6-3
(2) Annika Teske, ER, def Isabel Hindt 6-0, 6-0
(3) Jen Koehler, ER, def Amy Budde 6-3, 6-3
(4) Lauren Brayden, ER, def Jessica Fusco 6-1, 4-6, 6-1
(1) Hadley Purdy-Becca O’Connell, ER, def Katelyn Sargeantt-Shelby Houfer 6-3, 6-3
(2) Emma Hannegraaf-Erin Reiner, ER, def Quinncy Zupko-Danielle Dohlheimer 6-4, 7-5
(3) Brooke Burns-Dani Dokken, ER, def Sierra Stendahl-Jeanne Thibodeaux 6-4, 6-0