Redwood Valley defeats New Ulm in girls’ tennis

Staff photo by Steve Muscatello New Ulm’s Makiah Otto returns a volley in Tuesday’s Big South Conference match against Redwood Valley at New Ulm High School. Redwood Valley defeated the Eagles in the regular-season opener.

NEW ULM — Playing in her first varsity tennis match ever at home, New Ulm No. 4 singles player Malia Emerson might have had New Ulm’s best match of the day.

Emerson made quick work of Redwood Valley’s Abby Gilk, sweeping her 6-0, 6-0. The freshman didn’t seem to think it was a big deal after the match despite her impressive home debut in front of a big crowd.

“It was really fun to win, with everyone watching,” she said.

However, Redwood Valley won the Big South Conference match 5-2 over New Ulm. As for Emerson, she spent some time working on the basics during the offseason and that seemed to pave the way for the victory, at least in Tuesday’s match.

“I worked on my serves a lot, that really helped [on Tuesday],” Emerson said.

At second singles, Makiah Otto lost to Gabby Houle and New Ulm’s Abby Hietala lost 6-3, 6-3 to Isabel Hillstead at No. 3 singles.

At No. 1 singles, New Ulm’s Emma Maudal played the longest match of the day, which lasted over two hours. There, she lost 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to Janessa Whitaker.

New Ulm’s doubles duo of Abbey Frauenholtz and Bethany Janssen picked up the lone victory for New Ulm on the doubles side of things. There, Frauenholtz and Janssen won 6-3, 6-3.

Hannah Blumhoefer and Kellyn Emmerson lost 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 at first doubles to Payden Beran and Ashlyn Duering.

Carli Botten and Ashtyn Wiltscheck, both making their tennis debuts this year, lost 6-3, 6-3 at No. 3 doubles to Skylar Dehnke and Lexi Day.

New Ulm resumes action at Worthington on Thursday.