Packer is Section 8A champion
She beat out the best of the best in Section 8A girls individuals to arise as the champion.
FARGO — Wadena-Deer Creek senior Madison Packer is heading into uncharted waters arising as the Section 8A girls tennis champion Tuesday, Oct. 19.
She now advances to the state tournament at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis next week, Oct. 26-29. Packer is the first from Wadena's program to reach the state tournament in about 30 years.
To reach the championship round, Packer first beat out Hope Grafstrom, of Roseau in the first round 6-0, 6-0; then Staples-Motley’s Allison Knossalla 6-1, 6-0 in round 2; and in semifinals she beat Abby Morris 6-4, 6-0. All fairly swift wins for the Wolverine senior.
In the championship round against No. 1 ranked Lauren Rutten, of Staples-Motley, Packer said she did very well with her serving, she remained aggressive and she worked to keep Rutten on her back foot. The combination helped Packer win in two sets 7-5 and 6-3.
But Rutten didn't go down easy. She's only lost five games this season and two of those were against Packer. In another, Rutten beat Packer. Packer described Rutten as very consistent in her play.
Head coach Jordan Cresap explained that the match involved a great deal of back and forth action with over 100-hit rallies.
"Long, long rallies," Cresap said.
He was over the moon excited for Packer to advance into the state tournament. Packer was also looking forward to the next challenge.
"It feels so great," Packer said. "It gives me an opportunity to get to show what I can do."
Packer plans to keep her mindset in a good place as she looks to the next matches.
"I feel very good," Packer said. "I feel good representing the team. They've all helped me improve as a player."
Also playing today were the doubles team of senior Corra Endres and eighth grader Anna Fiemeyer. They lost their first match against Crookston in three sets but not without a wild comeback after being down 0-5. Cresap said they fought tooth and nail to stay in that game.
"They kept fighting until the end," Cresap said.
In their second match against Park Rapids, the duo came out on top earning third place in the section.