Tigers looking for strong finish at state

CONTRIBUTED The Huron girls’ tennis team will close the season at the Class AA State Tournament, which begins Monday in Sioux Falls. From left: Lizzy Heinen, AnneClaire Rubish, Ann Hoek, Madeline Kleinsasser, Paw Kler Moo and Say Glay.

HURON — After starting the season a bit shy on varsity experience, the Huron girls’ tennis teams is set make another run at a strong finish in the Class A State Tournament.

The season-ending event is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday in Sioux Falls.

“The team has gained a ton of experience throughout the season, grown and improved significantly,” Huron coach Rachel Kary said. “We are heading in the right direction to have a successful state tournament.”

The Tigers recorded a fourth-place finish in the Class A State Tournament a year ago. Kary is looking for a similar outcome at this year’s event.

“We are excited for state and I think we all have high expectations going into the tournament,” she said. “I am hoping for a top-4 finish again at state this year and the girls are focused and determined to do well!”

Huron’s roster this season is made up of one senior, four juniors and a freshman. The Tigers finished the season with a 10-8 record in dual competition and are coming off a sixth-place finish at the Eastern South Dakota Conference Tournament.

“The girls are playing fantastic tennis right now,” Kary said. “They did well at the ESD tournament, which is a tournament filled with tough competition. 

“If the girls continue to play how they have been playing, they will be successful,” she said. “Staying focused and positive will be key as well.”

The top three players in the singles lineup for Huron had strong showings at last year’s state tournament.

Junior AnneClaire Rubish was fourth for the Tigers in No. 1 singles. She has put together a 6-11 record this season.

Lizzy Heinen is the lone senior on Huron’s roster for the state tourney this season. She finished 5th at No. 2 singles a year ago and has posted a 12-9 in that spot this season.

Junior Ann Hoek jumped to the No. 3 singles position this year after finishing third in the sixth flight singles last year. She has went 12-7 this season.

The bottom three singles players are all new to the varsity scene this season for Huron.

Freshman Say Glay played the No. 4 spot and amassed a 17-8 record this season.

Paw Kler Moo compiled an 11-11 record during her junior season at No. 5 singles.

Rounding out the singles lineup was junior Madeline Kleinsasser at No. 6. She finished the season with a 14-9 mark.

In the doubles competition, the Tigers turned in winning records in two of the three spots.

Rubish and Heinen combined to go 10-8 at No. 1 this season. The duo was third at last year’s state tournament.

Hoek and Kleinsasser put together an 8-13 record this season in No. 2 doubles. Hoek advanced to the championship match in No. 3 doubles a year ago.

Glay and Moo will be making their first state tournament appearance for the Tigers in No. 3 doubles. They amassed a 16-6 record during the regular season.

“All the girls have played so well this season.  They have all improved in so many areas of their games and they are at the peak as we head into state,” Kary said. “Looking at our overall records and then our records against Class A schools, we are in a position to do very well at state tennis!”

Pierre is the defending Class A state champion, while St. Thomas More and Sioux Falls Christian were second and third, respecitively.

“Sioux Falls Christian, Rapid City Christian, St. Thomas More and Vermillion will be some tough teams at state,” Kary said.

Play is scheduled to begin at Tomar Park and McKennan Park at 8 a.m. Monday. The final day of competition is slated for 8 a.m. Tuesday at Tomar Park.