Litchfield claimed its fifth consecutive section championship Tuesday, beating Osakis 6-1 in the Section 6A girls tennis final at Rogers Tennis Club.
The Dragons, ranked third in the state in Class A by Minnesota High School Tennis, improved to 18-3 with the win over Osakis. That gives Litchfield a 78-7 record over the past four seasons. In addition to five consecutive section titles, the Dragons have one other section title in the past 16 years, and two runner-up finishes, in 2006 and 2016.
Litchfield won five of seven matches in straight sets, three singles and two doubles matches.
The Dragons’ third doubles team of Kaitlyn Palmer and Sophie Stilwell rallied from a first-set loss to beat the Osakis duo of Bria Hoffarth and Madeline Anderson, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3. Litchfield got another hard-fought point at fourth singles, where Isla Dille rallied from a first-set loss to top Larissa Hoffarth 1-6, 6-3, 10-7.
Osakis’ only point came at first singles, where Mara VanNyhuis topped Litchfield’s Ryanna Steinhaus 6-1, 6-4.
Litchfield played twice Tuesday, opening the day with a 7-0 win over New London-Spicer in the section semifinals.
Only the Dragons’ top doubles team of Britney Prahl and Lauren Erickson was pushed to three sets. After dropping the opening set, Prahl and Erickson responded with a 6-0 second set win and closed out the match with a 6-3 win in the third set.
The Class A State Tournament will open with the team quarterfinals on Tuesday, Oct. 26, at Reed-Sweatt Tennis Center in Minneapolis.
But before the state tournament, however, some of Litchfield’s team was participating in the Section 6A individual tournament Wednesday at Rogers Tennis Club.
Steinhaus and Dille represented Litchfield in singles, and both opened the tournament with a win. Steinhaus, who was seeded second, beat Ari Surma of St. John's Prep 6-0, 6-0 to advance. Steinhaus was set to meet seventh-seeded Brooke Adelman of New London-Spicer in the semifinals.
Dille also advanced to the semifinals with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Olivia Blieck of Minnewaska. She was set to meet Osakis' VanNyhuis, the No. 1 seed, in the semifinals.
Meanwhile, two Litchfield doubles teams also advanced in the individual tournament. Top-seeded Kylie Michels and Britney Prahl opened with a 6-0, 6-0 win over St. John's Prep's Sophie Grande and Noelle Buehrer. They were scheduled to meet an eighth-seeded duo from New London-Spicer in the quarterfinals.
Lauren Erickson and Karlee Prahl teamed up for the Dragons at the other doubles slot and opened with a 6-3, 6-0 win over a Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa duo. Seeded fourth, Erickson and Prahl were to meet fifth-seeded Minnewaska duo of Addy Randt and Olivia Richards in the quarterfinals.