Girls varsity tennis victorious at sections

Annalisa Huge

Senior Elizabeth Graven and junior Taylor Ahlborn claimed their ticket to the State Tournament, and their first doubles sectional championship title last Tuesday, October 20, 2009. Their biggest accomplishment? Defeating both of Edina High School’s doubles teams, the top seeds in their section, for the first time since 2005. Graven and Ahlborn took home their title after two back-to-back three-set-thrillers.

The girls went into the tournament playing together for the first time this season, and their victories over Minneapolis South, Hopkins, and Wayzata proved that they were there to win. Juniors Martha Hogan and Taylor Curtiss also advanced to the semifinals after defeating Minneapolis Roosevelt, Southwest, and Cooper.

The other semifinalists included Molly Mehldahl, Caroline Ward, Sheri Hickey, and Katie Medlar. With a reputation for winning, and their top seed ranking in their section, both of Edina’s doubles partners went into sections expecting to qualify for state.

Graven and Ahlborn had to play to the best of their abilities if they wanted beat them. “I knew how good Edina was, but I knew if we played our absolute best we could hold our own,” said Ahlborn. In a tough three-set match against Hickey and Medlar, Graven and Ahlborn pulled through after a 3-6 deficit, winning the next two sets 6-3, 6-4.

Also advancing to the finals were Mehldahl and Ward, after they defeated Hogan and Curtiss in a close match. “We definitely showed them we could put up a good fight,” said Curtiss. “It was a huge challenge, but we played a great match.”

Going into the final match as the underdogs, Graven and Ahlborn were faced with their most challenging match yet. “We lost the first set 2-6, so we needed to stay in the game and make it to a third set,” said Graven. The girls did just that, winning the second set 6-2. “We pulled each other through the second set, stayed positive, and played our hardest,” said Ahlborn.

After two long hours of sweat and determination, Graven and Ahlborn finally took the third set, winning 6-3. “After that last point, we looked at each other and didn’t even know what to do,” said Graven. “We just ran and hugged each other. We beat Edina, we qualified for state, and we are section champs!”