Pirates Doubles Falls to Ranked Opponents at State

Natalie Dillon
Crookston Times

The Pirates Girls’ Tennis doubles teams faced stiff competition in the state tournament, including the No. 1 and No. 3 seed overall, leading to tough losses. 

Even though he’s proud of his team, head coach Pat Janorschke knew what his players were capable of and wished it would have shown more. 

“I was a little bit disappointed that we couldn’t continue the great success we had throughout the season,” Janorschke said. “That happens. Everyone comes down a little nervous possibly. All in all, the girls played up to their potential and gave what they had that day.” 

On the final day of the doubles tournament, Emma Osborn and Emma Gunderson competed in the consolation bracket semifinal match against the team from Rochester Lourdes. 

Although they grabbed the first game of the match, they fell in the next six to lose the first set 1-6. The girls were able to find a bit of a groove late in the second set, but it wasn’t enough as Rochester Lourdes took the second set 6-2.  

On the previous day, Osborn and Gunderson won their first round in the consolation bracket in exciting fashion. 

The Emmas had a five-game lead in the first set before losing momentum to the Benson/KMS Co-op doubles team. With a one-game lead, the girls were able to close it out for a 6-4 first set win. Osborn and Gunderson rode the momentum to a 6-0 victory in the second set.  

In their opening match of the championship bracket on Thursday, Hayden and Halle Winjum faced off against the No. 3 ranked doubles team from Litchfield. The sisters put up a good fight but ultimately lost 2-6, 3-6.  

Lichtfield, a highly respected tennis team, overpowered the Winjums at the net, forcing pinpoint shots in order to score. 

“Litchfield has always been really good at tennis, so we knew it was going to be a tough one,” Hayden Winjum said. “They are very aggressive at the net, so we were prepared for some lobs and hard ground strokes. They were really good. It was hard to get anything past them.”  

Because the sisters won their first doubles match in the tournament, they advanced further in the championship bracket. Once in their designated bracket—consolation or championship—a team must win in order to continue. Thus, the run for the Winjum sisters was over. 

Although Halle, only a sophomore, will return to the team next season, she’s glad she could play one last time with her sister. 

“It was Hayden’s choice,” Halle said. “She’s a senior this year, and she was going back and forth between singles and doubles. I’m super glad she picked doubles because it was fun getting to play with her. We work well, and I’ll miss her next year.” 

To face the No. 3 doubles, Hayden and Halle soundly defeated the Totzke pair from Fairmont 6-3, 6-1. 

In their first match of the tournament, Gunderson and Osborn went up against the No. 1 doubles team from Rochester Lourdes. The opponent’s talent showed, as the Emmas were unable to grab a single game, losing 0-6, 0-6. 

Rather than get discouraged, Osborn saw the loss as a learning opportunity and a chance to see some of the best at state. 

“It was a lot of fun seeing some really good talent out there.” Osborn said. “Everybody that we’ve played so far has really good talent, but it was a lot of fun playing them.”  

The Pirates return a majority of their team next season, but they say goodbye to seniors Osborn, Hayden Winjum, and Hannah Lindemoen. 

“The seniors performed great all season long,” Janorschke said. “All of them played up to what we needed. It’s a thankless job at the top a lot of the time because you’re always playing the number ones and everything throughout the season, and they performed well.” 

Hayden and Halle Winjum celebrate a point
Halle Winjum hits a backhand slice
Emma Gunderson attacks the net
Emma Osborn serves
Hayden Winjum uses her forehand
Halle Winjum returns the serve
Hayden Winjum serves to the opponent
Emma Gunderson returns with her backhand
Emma Osborn continues the rally