Every Red Wing singles player and doubles pairing advanced past the first round in the Big 9 conference tournament Saturday in Rochester.
Head coach Tom Gillman didn't hold back in his praise of the team's play. None of the Wingers came into the tournament seeded. Many made it past the quarterfinal round despite not being seeded.
"They've really overcome a slow start to the season. They had to get comfortable with the expectations and comfortable with the mental side as well," Gillman said. "To turn things around like this has to be one of the best accomplishments of a team."
The Wingers collectively played much better against teams they had previously struggled against earlier in the season. The Wingers' losses came exclusively against each of the three top teams in the Big 9; Rochester Mayo, Mankato West and Rochester Century.
Hannah Kosek won her first match 6-2, 6-3 in No. 1 singles, then lost in a quarterfinals match. Allie Roe won 6-3, 6-4, then won 6-1, 6-1 before falling in a semifinals match 6-3, 6-1 in No. 2 singles. Roe competed in the third place game and lost 6-0, 6-3. Abby Schmaltz won her first match 6-2, 6-2, in No. 3 singles then fell 6-2, 6-0 in the quarterfinals. Finally in No. 4 singles, Lillian Hartman, who had played no more than five singles matches all season, won her first-round match 6-3, 7-6(7) before falling 6-1, 6-0.
Allie and Nora Meyer won 7-5, 6-2 in their first match. They won 6-3, 6-3, in a quarterfinal before losing to a pair from Mayo in a semifinal match. The Winger duo lost in the third-place match.
Ava and Ella Johnson made it to a No. 2 doubles semifinal, but lost the match to Mayo. The two Wingers then earned third place, beating a pair from Winona 6-4, 7-6.
Aftyen Bluhm and Cienna Fanning won their first-round match, then lost to a pair from Mankato West.
Red Wing finished the regular season 5-10 overall and 2-9 in the Big 9. The Wingers next compete against Winona on the road Tuesday in the first round of the Section 1AA tournament.