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senior Ayla Westlund 6-3, 6-4. ….

senior Ayla Westlund 6-3, 6-4. …. senior Ayla Westlund 6-3, 6-4. ….

senior Ayla Westlund 6-3, 6-4.

Getting that third seed was crucial, according to Medford head coach Jake Bucki, because it allowed Sommer to draw first-round sectional matchup with 8-7 Alexa Robarge, who he felt was the player from the Baldwin-Woodville subsectional that Sommer matches up best with. Robarge was the second seed in that subsectional based on a regular-season win over third-seeded Arianna Smith of Eau Claire Regis. Bucki said Smith was not nearly at 100% health when she lost to Robarge and was a tough matchup for Sommer in a 6-1, 6-0 win back on Sept. 1.

“It’s not like it’s going to be an easy match by any means, but it’s not the Regis girl,” Bucki said looking forward to Wednesday’s match.

The Sommer/Robarge winner was set to meet either Newman Catholic’s Becky Larrain (9-1) or Baldwin-Woodville’s Baily Albrightson (11-5) in the semifinals. The other side of the bracket had Smith (12-6) facing Wisconsin Rapids Assumption’s Maria Hartley (7-5), who edged Sommer in a three-set regular-season finale Thursday, and Gironella (6-4) facing Amery standout Sophie Whitley (11-4).

Wildberg entered the sectional on a tear having won six straight matches, a streak that started Sept. 17 against Ella Teeters of Phillips. As the top seed in Monday’s bracket, Wildberg drew Teeters again in the first round and cruised to a 6-1, 6-0 win. That set up a matchup with fourth-seeded Ruby Haupt of Newman Catholic to determine who advanced to the sectional. Wildberg won it 6-2, 6-3 to improve to 9-5 and avenge a three-set loss to Haupt from back on Sept. 3.

“Lindsey had an outstanding day, taking care of business quickly with Phillips and then all business against Newman, who was likely the second-best player in the draw,” Bucki said. “She just played super smart and consistent throughout the match. Very happy for her to go from where she was last year to be playing at sectionals at number-three singles this year.”

Wildberg was set to face undefeated Lily Marquand (13-0) of Amery in her semifinal match Wednesday. The other semifinal had Maddie Metz of Regis (10-2) facing Carly Hintz of Assumption (9-4). Wildberg beat Hintz Thursday and lost to Metz on Sept. 1.

Juniors Sophie Brost and Kelsey Jascor fell just short of advancing as well.

Brost was the top seed in flight-two singles and opened with a 6-1, 6-1 win Sophie DeByl of Phillips. That put her against fourth-seeded Maria Laura Garcia-Moya of Columbus Catholic. The two met on Sept. 22 with Garcia-Moya winning.6-1, 6-2.

Brost started with a sharp first set, winning 6-2. Garcia- Moya (7-6), however, turned things around with a 6-3 win in the second set and took the third set 6-3 to advance. Brost finished 8-7.

“Sophie played an outstanding first set against Maria and just couldn’t quite keep it going,” Bucki said. “Hitting the ball with confidence and moving all over the court in beginning of match, then slowly not moving quite as well and pushing the ball instead of hitting. Maria played an outstanding two sets, getting a ton of balls in and placing them short and long.”

Jascor, who started playing at number-four singles late in the year, drew the third seed with her 2-2 regular- season record at the flight and earned a hard-fought first-round win over Stevens Point Pacelli’s Shelby Tryba 4-6, 6-1, 6-3. That put her up against second-seeded Anna Tangerreli of Assumption, who is 7-0 at the flight. Tangerreli advanced with a 6-2, 6-4 win.

It was a tough day in doubles play for the Raiders.

In flight one, Assumption’s fourth-seeded Kendall Schmidt and Izzy Jungwirth (9-1) beat Raider senior Jordaan Clark and freshman Masaeda Krug 6-3, 7-6. They finished 2-4 together after getting paired up late in the season and ended with two straight losses to Assumption’s team. Lakeland’s fifth-seeded Phoebe Wirtz and Hailey Curtis knocked off junior Kenya Mann and sophomore Makayla Motte 6-3, 6-1 to avenge a Thursday loss. Lakeland’s fifth-seeded Kate McMahon and Malina Reyolds knocked off Raider sophomores Myah Smith and Eryka Seidl in a three-set thriller. The T-Birds won the first set 6-0. Smith and Seidl stayed alive by winning the second in a tiebreaker 7-6 (10-8). The T-Birds won a tightly-contested third set 7-5. Smith and Seidl finished 4-4 at the flight for the fall.

Eau Claire Regis is in the driver’s seat to earn the team state berth from the Baldwin-Woodville sectional after scoring 24 points in Monday’s subsectional in Baldwin.

1-1 in triangular

The regular season ended Thursday with a split during a long afternoon and evening of tennis on a cool fall day in Medford.

The Raiders started strong, avenging an early-season Great Northern Conference loss with a 7-0 sweep of Lakeland. After Wisconsin Rapids Assumption beat Lakeland 6-1, the Raiders and Royals met last to determine the day’s overall winner.

Unfortunately, the teams ran out of daylight to officially finish the meet, but Assumption won three of the five matches that did get finished and had one-set leads in the two that had to be halted due to darkness.

With two of the losses to Assumption going to third sets and another very nearly doing so, the Raiders got a lot of meaningful tennis in four days before the WIAA post-season began.

All but one of the match wins over Lakeland came in straight sets. Sommer avenged a season-opening loss at number-one singles to Gironella, winning 6-4, 6-2. At number-two, Brost earned her second win of the season over McKenzie Walters 6-4, 6-2. Wildberg easily won the number-three match 6-1, 6-2 over McMahon. Jascor had to work overtime but eventually outlasted T-Birds Julianna Ouimette 4-6, 6-3, 10-3 in the number-four match.

After a dominant start at number-one doubles, Clark and Krug had to fend off a better second set from Lakeland’s Britta Salquist and Amaya White before winning 6-3, 7-5.

Mann and Motte controlled their match with Curtis and Wirtz 6-2, 6-4 and Smith and Seidl crushed Cassidy Cleveland and Reyolds 6-2, 6-0.

Brost and Wildberg were Medford’s winners against Assumption. Brost took down Kate Eithun 6-4, 6-2 while Wildberg completed a 4-0 week in flight three with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Hintz.

Both of the completed doubles matches went to 10-point, third-set tiebreakes and both were won by Assumption. In flight one, Schmidt and Jungworth rallied to beat Clark and Krug 2-6, 6-4, 10-7. In flight three, Julia Drewiske and Madison Pecher came back from a set down to defeat Smith and Seidl 4-6, 6-2, 10-6.

In another match that had post-season seeding implications, Maria Hartley held off Sommer in the numberone singles match 6-4, 7-6, taking the set tiebreaker 9-7.

In flight two doubles, Araya Elsen and Abbi Berard led Mann and Motte 6-3, 2-2, and Tangerreli led Jascor 6-3, 0-1 in number-four singles when play ended.

Lindsey Wildberg