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OVERHEAD SMASH Fairmonts Emily Hagen (front) connects with an overhead jump as second doubles player Ellie Hernes looks on Monday’s Big South Conference East Division tennis action at Hal Schroeder Courts in Blue Earth. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)

BLUE EARTH – The plot of Act II was not much different from Act I in the game between the Blue Earth Area and Fairmont girls tennis teams.

Emily Hagen and Ellie Hernes put in an encore on Monday, producing the visiting Cardinals’ only team point in a 6-1 loss of the Big South Conference East Division against the unbeaten Bucs at Hal Schroeder Courts in Blue Earth.

Hagen and Hernes rallied for another dramatic win in three sets – 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 – to collect their No. 2 doubles with Lyndsey Borris and Britt Howard. Ironically, Hagen and Hernes made a three-set comeback to Borris and Howard in Fairmont’s 5-2 loss to Blue Earth Area last Thursday at the Cardinal Courts in Fairmont.

Briana Joseph defeated Marissa Benz four days ago in a hard-hitting second singles fight to score the other team of the Cardinals, but Benz reversed the trend Monday.

Benz rallied 5-4 in the opening set en route to a 7-5 victory before defecting to a 6-1 decision in the second set against Joseph.

“I thought Blue Earth (Area) really upped their game today,” said Fairmont head coach Laura Olsen. “Unlike last week, I thought our ability to take big shots during key points was not consistent today, and that’s how this game goes sometimes.

“It was difficult after last week’s loss at our home courts to jump back on their tracks today. Now we just need to learn from our losses, maintain a positive outlook and move forward. “

Arika Howard and Addison Armstrong put Blue Earth Area an early 2-0 lead on the team ledger of the number 4 and 3 singles respectively. Howard posted a 6-1, 6-0 decision over Anika Haugen to make it to the Bucs’ initial team count before Armstrong beat Abi Peyman 6-3, 6-0.

“I thought Abi had learned a lot from the first time those two played, and turned out to be more competitive today,” said Olsen.

In the second straight clash at No. 1 in doubles, the Bucs ‘McKenna Dutton and Kylie Rosenau outwitted the Cardinals’ Maggy Totzke and Lauren Davis in a nail-biter, 6-3, 7-5.

After earning a crucial service break at 4-1, Dutton and Rosenau reached their first set victory to see Totzke and Davis lead 1-0, 2-1 and 5-4 in the second set. Dutton’s service game even helped the Bucs’ tandem get the set 5-all, before getting a crucial break in Game 11 for a 6-5 lead. Rosenau’s precision serves and Dutton’s vigorous poaching completed the 7-5 second set win for BEA’s third team point.

Te’a Armstrong sealed Bucs’ team triumph with point 4 by outsmarting Claire Nemmers in a 6-0, 6-3 first-singles match. Nemmers took an early lead of 1-0 and 2-1 in the second set before Armstrong turned the scoring trend in her favor.

For the second time in a row, BEA’s Cali Beyer and Olivia Dutton and Fairmont’s Libby Totzke and Hope Klanderud took the lead in a nip-tuck third doubles slugfest on Monday.

Totzke and Klanderud achieved a 6-2 victory in the first set before Beyer and Dutton answered with a 6-1 decision in the second set. With the team’s outcome already determined, Beyer and Dutton beat Totzke and Klanderud in a super tiebreaker – 10-7 – instead of a complete third set.

Fairmont (4-3) plays host to River Valley in the Cardinal Courts in a replacement meeting today at 4:30 PM. The Cardinals were originally scheduled to play against Waseca on Thursday and next Monday, but those duals were canceled due to the Bluejays’ current quarantine period.

Blue Earth Area (7-0) will play host to St. Peter on Thursday at 4:30 PM.

Varsity Results

BE Area 6, Fairmont 1

Singles bracket

Te’a Armstrong (BEA). Claire Nemmers, 6-0, 6-3.

Marissa Benz (BEA) def. Briana Joseph, 7-5, 6-1.

Addison Armstrong (BEA) def. Abi Peyman, 6-3, 6-0.

Arika Howard (BEA) def. Anika Haugen, 6-1, 6-0.

Double bracket

McKenna Dutton-Kylie Rosenau (BEA) def. Maggy Totzke-Lauren Davis, 6-3, 7-5.

Ellie Hernes-Emily Hagen (FMT) def. Lyndsey Borris-Britt Howard, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Cali Beyer-Olivia Dutton (BEA) def. Libby Totzke-Hope Klanderud, 2-6, 6-1, (10-7).

JV results

Fairmont 5, BE Area 1

Double bracket

Lilly Laven-Brynn Gustafson (FMT) won 4-3, 4-2.

Meredith Nemmers-Solveig Mustard (FMT) won 1-4, 4-2, (10-8).

Brooke VanGelderen-Annika Wheeler (FMT) won 4-1, 4-0.

Rachel O’Connor-Kaycie Brookens (FMT) won 4-0, 4-1.

Elly Stegge-Jenna Spencer (FMT) won 4-0, 4-2.

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