Perham/New York Mills senior Jade Lenius had to wait a week but it was a wait well worth it. After an early season snowstorm pushed back the Section 8A Individual singles and doubles tournament, Lenius posted a perfect record to secure her spot in the Class A Individual Singles Tournament.
The senior No. 1 singles player for the Yellowjackets went 1-2 during the team tournament which Perham/NYM came in second place but Lenius rebounded with a strong performance, posting four straight wins to advance to the state meet as the Section 8A Individual champion.
“It was a very fitting day that has kind of summarized the player Jade is as she had to work really hard to beat four really good players in the tournament,” Perham/NYM head coach Jameson Miller said. “I was really proud that other team’s players have noticed that Jade is a hard-working player that plays the game the right way. I thought both her and Park Rapids Area’s Abby Morris carried themselves so well in that four battle in the semifinals as they were both still complementing one another all the way till the end. Same with the championship match for that matter against Thief River Falls. I’m proud of Jade.”
Lenius has grown into the No. 1 singles role after seeing extended time at doubles during her career. Lenius moved into the top spot for the Yellowjackets, who featured four seniors.
“She came out in ninth grade and always has been competitive and seemed to have a passion for tennis early on that has helped her get to where she is now. She’s earned what she’s accomplished on the court,” Miller said. “We have been very fortunate to have had players with really high character over the years, and she falls into this category. She is a good player and has turned into a really good teammate that others enjoy being around.”
Lenius opened the first round of play at Fargo’s Courts Plus with a straight set victory over Crookston’s Hannah Lindemoen. She earned a 6-0, 6-1 victory.
The first round victory moved Lenius into the quarterfinals where she captured a 6-1, 6-4 victory over East Grand Forks’ Brynn Havis.
After a pair of straight set victories in the first two rounds, the Perham/NYM senior used a pair of victories that went the distance to capture the title.
Lenius faced an uphill battle in the semifinals when she squared off against Park Rapids Area’s Abby Morris.
Lenius dropped the first set of the match 4-6 in a tight battle. However, Lenius responded with a 6-3 victory over Morris in the second set. The third set went down to the wire, which went Lenius’ way with a few key shots, earning a 7-5 win over Morris.
The championship featured Lenius taking on Thief River Falls Emma Fagerstrom. Fagerstrom and the Prowlers defeated the Yellowjackets in the Section 8AA Team Championships.
Lenius battled through adversity against Fagerstrom in the individual championship. Lenius was defeated in the opening set 1-6, before responding in a pair of victories in a pair of grueling second and third set battles. Lenius battled through for a 7-5 victory in the second set and earned a tough victory in the third as well. She needed a tie-breaker to win the third, but came through with a 7-6 (7-5) victory.
Perham/NYM’s Avery Beachy competed as well. Beachy was defeated in the opening round when she lost in straight sets against Thief River Falls’ Ava Yuska. Yuska won the match 6-1, 6-0.
In doubles action, the team of Malia Groff and Mirta Vorderbruggen were edged out by Jade Renneberg and Mickey Clark of Park Rapids Area in straight sets 3-6, 4-6 in the opening round.
JoJo Winkels and Kiera Radniecki captured a 6-4, 6-0 victory over Roseau’s Haylee Bennett and Maddy Verbout in the opening round of the doubles tournament. However, they were defeated by East Grand Forks’ Katelyn Farder and Delaney Aaker in the quarterfinals in straight sets, 2-6, 2-6.
Lenius will now play in the Class A Individual Singles Tournament at the Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center at the campus of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities on Oct. 24. She opens play against New London-Spicer’s Ava Hanson at 8 a.m.