Virginia earns Class A state berth

After two years without a title, Virginia returned to the top of Section 7A high school girls tennis Saturday by defeating Foley 5-2 in the title match at Gold's Gym in Sartell, Minn.

After two years without a title, Virginia returned to the top of Section 7A high school girls tennis Saturday by defeating Foley 5-2 in the title match at Gold's Gym in Sartell, Minn.

No. 10-ranked Virginia(17-2) faces either No. 3 Staples-Motley or Minnewaska Area in the Minnesota Class A quarterfinals Oct. 24 at the Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis.

The Blue Devils had won four straight Section 7A team titles through 2004, then watched Greenway in2005 and Pine City in 2006 claim championships.

"People had almost come to expect us to win every year, and when it didn't happy it really felt like something was missing. It was an empty feeling,'' said Virginia senior Natalie Prittinen, who teams with sophomore Casey Mauston at No. 1 doubles. "We have players this season who are super dedicated and we have amazing depth.

"Having our own indoor courts was also a big help, especially at the end of the season when the weather was so rainy. We've improved a lot and have been playing our best tennis of the season.''


Coach Dave Gunderson figured Virginia received rain28 of the last 35 days, but instead of canceling practice or matches, or driving 20 minutes to Hibbing's Mesaba Athletic Club, the Blue Devils were inside at the new four-court Quad Cities Tennis For All building.

"We don't have a superstar player, but we have a good, hard-working group, led by five seniors, that has been really focused on getting this title back,'' Gunderson said. "We finalized our lineup about a month ago and everyone has been very comfortable and confident.''

Virginia defeated Pierz6-1 in the morning semifinals, while Foley eliminated Aitkin 4-3. Also winning matches for Virginia in the final were freshman Amanda Arbogast and eighth-grader Hailey Slatten in singles, and senior Samantha Hendrickson and freshman Alexis Gunderson, and seniors Abby Lewis and Erika Skubic in doubles.

boys soccer

duluth east 5,duluth Central 0

Rob Johnson scoredtwo goals as the top-seeded Greyhounds rolled past the Trojans in a Section 7A quarterfinal at Public Schools Stadium.

East (14-3-2), ranked third in Class A, advances to play Cloquet-Esko-Carlton at 8 p.m. Tuesday in a semifinal.

duluth marshall 5,grand rapids 1


Geordie Diener scored a pair of goals and Jesse Geary added two assists to lead the host Hilltoppers to the7A quarterfinal win, their seventh straight victory.

Second-seeded Marshall (17-2) plays host to Hermantown in a semifinal Tuesday.

cloquet-EC 3,Chisago Lakes 0

Anthony Wood's two goals and Tyler Marquardt's18 saves lifted the host Lumberjacks to the Section 7A quarterfinal win.

hermantown 4,Duluth DenfelD 1

Danny Strapple completed a hat trick in the 79th minute as the Hawks won the Section7A quarterfinal at PSS.

girls soccer

duluth east 3,Blaine 1


The Greyhounds outshot the Bengals 13-2 to win the Section 7AA semifinal at PSS. Abby Dalton, Amanda Smerz and Megan Stingle tallied for top-seeded East (14-6), which will face Coon Rapids (10-5) at 6 p.m. Tuesday at PSS.

esko-carlton 2,Zimmerman 0

Amanda Bergstedt scored two goals, including a penalty kick in the 79th minute, as the host Eskomos reached the Section 7A semifinals with the victory.

Bergstedt has an area-leading 21 goals this season.

cloquet 3,Chisago Lakes 0

Katie Pappas' two goals and shutout goaltending from Mary Keller and Katrin Rathe led the host Lumberjacks to the 7A quarterfinal victory.

Cloquet (9-4-3) plays either Hermantown or Proctor in a Tuesday semifinal.

two harbors 4,north Branch 1


Emily Gilsvik's two goals were part of a 24-shot onslaught by the host Agates in a 7A quarterfinal win.

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