Tennis: Rogers duo stopped just short of state, finish 24-2

Rogers seniors Julia Sporer and Rachel Dodd won their first 24 matches together this year, but were not quite able to add a 25th win that would have put them in the state tennis tournament.

Julia Sporer and Rachel Dodd are shown here during a regular-season match at home. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Julia Sporer (left) and Rachel Dodd are shown here during a regular-season match at home. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Sporer and Dodd, seeded second, won their Section 5AA semifinal match over Champlin Park’s Jessica Kelly and Emily Sjostrom 6-0, 6-1 at Read-Sweatt courts in Minneapolis on Tuesday morning, then lost in the championship match to Centennial’s top-seeded Emily Johnson and Meghan Longen 6-3, 6-4.

The top two advance to state, but the Royal duo had to play a “true-second” match because they had not faced the third-place finishers, Emily Hauer and Heidi Hannula of Coon Rapids.

The Coon Rapids team fended off Sporer and Dodd 7-5, 6-4.

“It was a real emotional day,” said their coach, Debbie Conley. “They  had a real tough second match, and then right away had to play a real tough third match. The girls were pretty sad. They really wanted to go to state.”

Rogers has never had a state tennis qualifier in team or individuals. Sporer and Dodd, who were 24-2 overall and  won two sub-section and three section matches, were the first to come this close.

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