The No. 6-seeded Northland Prep Spartans got a little more than they expected in the first round of the Division III state girls tennis tournament.
The 11th-seeded Phoenix Country Day Eagles upset the hosting Spartans at Continental Country Club 5-2, winning four of six singles matches and needing just one doubles point to clinch Tuesday's match.
“It was a bummer, they were really good -- a bit better than I think we were expecting being seeded at No. 11,” Spartans head coach Austin Kerr said. “They played much closer, but our girls played great. They were doing everything they knew how to do.”
Most of the Spartans were battling illness, coaches and players said.
The Spartans got the first singles win in the No. 5 flight as Lin Taylor took a 6-0, 6-2 victory over her opponent to start the afternoon off well for her team.
Shortly after Taylor broke through, Northland Prep’s No. 3 Rachel Martin lost 6-1, 6-2.
With the match tied at 1-all, Spartans No. 4 Madison Parker pulled through a 6-3 first-set result in her favor and then shut out Phoenix Country Day’s No. 4 6-0 in the second to put the Spartans up 2-1 early.
From there, Phoenix Country Day controlled the rest of the day, winning four straight flights to close out with a victory.
Spartans No. 1 Bri Biddle lost 6-4, 6-1, followed by Kate Bailey losing 6-4, 6-1, in the No. 2 spot. In the No. 6 flight Karrie Lundstrom lost 7-6 after a long first set, only to get blanked 6-0 in the second.
Doubles ended with Martin and Parker falling in the No. 2 spot 8-2.
While the season is done for the team, Biddle and Bailey will be competing in the doubles state tournament this weekend. The two are the No. 3 seed, good enough for a first-round bye, and will play their first match Friday at Paseo Racquet Center in Glendale at 7:30 p.m.
“It’s a bummer to see four seniors go,” Kerr said. “ … I think it’s going to be really good this weekend. Bri and Kate, their goal is to win and go as far as they can.”
Martin will represent the Spartans in singles, going up against Page’s Kelsey Smith on Friday.
The Spartans ended the year with an 11-3 overall record counting the playoff loss -- the team's the second straight double-digit win season.