The Osceola Chieftain team started tournament action in Baldwin for sub-sectional play. Despite playing some good tennis Osceola was able to advance just their No. 2 doubles team of Ella Salewski and Makayla Quigley to Sectionals.
Salewski and Quigley won their first sub-sectional match with a win over a team from Ellsworth. The Chieftain duo punched their ticket to Sectionals with a win over Lainey Zurn and Grace Bever from Barron.
Hope Lowney won her first match at No. 1 singles but then had to play the top seed, Caroline Kowieski from Eau Claire Regis and was eliminated from the tournament. Sophia LaVigne also won her opening match with a win over Aria Hanson of Rice Lake but fell in the second round to Arianna Smith of Eau Claire Regis.
Jam Dannenmueller (No. 2 singles), Caitlin Karun (No. 4 singles), Paige Dvorak and Maddie Jensen (No. 1 doubles) and Kathryn Marek and Rachel Olson (No. 3 doubles) each were eliminated from sub-sectional play in the first round.
“There was for sure some disappointment from No.1 doubles when they lost to Baldwin-Woodville,” coach Beth Friedrichsen said. “They had not beaten them yet this season and they started off so strong and they were ready to beat them because both Paige and Maddie knew what was on the line and what they were battling for. My heart is sad for them. For Hope Lowney to play in a ‘pigtail’ match to then have to play the 1-seed from Regis was impressive. Sophia LaVigne had a great first round against Rice Lake and then she also had an eye-opening match against Regis.”
The Osceola doubles team of Salewski and Quigley advanced to Sectional play but lost in the opening round in a close match to Medford. The Chieftain pair came back to defeat Rice Lake in a match for third place.
“Ella and Makayla started their day off against Medford,” Friedrichsen said. “They were pretty nervous and it would have been a different story if they would have been able to calm down right away but playing indoors with fans right on the side is a different environment. Their second match, the match for third place, was a tough one. It is hard to motivate the players for their match when they know that their hopes for a trip to State are gone, but, man, did those two dig deep and really played their best. That is what it was all about, who was going to play their best tennis for their own personal esteem, and of course it was the Chieftains who succeeded.”
Salewski and Quigley were two of the four Chieftain seniors who finished their tennis careers in tournament play. Despite being knocked out short of her goal of State Quigley thought about what she had accomplished.
“Starting tennis my sophomore year I was super excited but also very timid because it was something new that I’ve never played before,” Quigley began. “After completing my first year and making new friends I realized it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It was really great to end my senior year by going to Sectionals. I was so honored to play with such a positive and great athlete like Ella. Tennis took on a huge part of my high school experience but the best part of tennis was not just “playing the best sport in the world” as Coach Friedrichsen would say but was being instructed by such great coaches and being surrounded by such great girls.”