The Minnewaska Area girls tennis team recently announced its season-ending awards. The Lakers went 12-7 this year, which included an 8-0 record in the WCC to win a ninth-straight conference title.
The Lakers were seeded third in the Section 6A Tourney this year and beat Sauk Centre in the first round before losing to NLS in the semifinals. NLS, the second seed, beat Osakis in the finals to earn a state berth.
• Five Minnewaska Area players were named to the All-WCC girls tennis team for 2023 — Alia Randt, Olivia Danielson, Avarie Uhde, Rachel Rankin and Megan Thorfinnson.
The Lakers varsity team earned a MSHSL Gold Team Academic Award with a team grade-point average of 3.97 (needed a 3.75). In addition, Brianna Erickson, the only senior on this year’s team, earned an All-State Academic Award (must be a senior and at least a 3.8 g.p.a.).
Earning WCC Academic Awards, for a g.p.a. of 3.75 or higher, were Megan Thorfinnson, Alia Randt, Olivia Danielson, Avarie Uhde, Katy Vold, Brianna Erickson, Katie Sorenson, McKenna Uhde, Rachel Rankin, Kaylen Blair, Norah VanZee, Adysen Hess, Kennedy Blair and Maggie Hjelm.
• Thorfinnson and Randt also won the award for most individual wins in a season as both players were 17-8 this year for the Lakers.
Sophomore Addy Heid and freshman Rachel Rankin shared the Most Improved Player award this year for the Laker varsity team, while sophomore Olivia Danielson won the Sportsmanship Award.
Earning the Team Spirit award was junior Avarie Uhde, while senior Brianna Erickson earned the Senior Leadership Award and ninth-grader Kaylen Blair and Rachel Rankin were both named as winners of the Varsity Rookie of the Year honor.
• For JV awards, Brooke Kjorness earned the Most Improved Player award, Kileigh Wilmes and Maggie Hjelm shared the Sportsmanship Award, and Kiarra Bosek won the Team Spirit Award.
Earning the junior high awards were Hannah Hoeper (Most Improved), Peyton Sundheim (Team Spirit), Molly Cassidy (Sportsmanship) and Clara Rankin (Rookie of the Year).
• Minnewaska Area was 8-0 in the WCC this season, while Montevideo placed second with a 6-2 record, followed by Morris–CA/WCA (5-3), BKMS (4-4), MACCRAY (4-4), Melrose (4-4), LQP-DB (2-6), Sauk Centre (2-6) and YME (0-8).
• Alia Randt, who played first singles for most of the season, and Megan Thorfinnson, who played second singles, had the best records for the Lakers this season with 17-8 records, while Addy Heid (16-5) and Rachel Rankin (16-7) both finished the season with 16 victories.
Thorfinnson is an unofficial 62-36 overall for her career, while Randt is 58-40.
Minnewaska Area had eight players with at least 10 wins this year as Katie Sorenson and Katy Vold were both 13-9 and Olivia Danielson and Avarie Uhde were both 13-10.
The Lakers will return their first through fourth singles players next year (Randt, Thorfinnson, Rankin and Heid, respectively) and will also return most of their doubles’ players as Danielson and Uhde played first doubles, Sorenson and Vold competed at second doubles, and Kaylen Blair (8-9), Norah VanZee (5-2) and McKenna Uhde (1-4) saw action this year at third doubles along with Erickson.