The Bears battled hard in the Section 4AA tournament earlier this month.
Competing in individual singles were No. 3 seed Lauren Welch and sophomore Michaela Phelps. Phelps drew a tough No. 5-seeded Maddie Blake of East Ridge in the first round and played an exceptional first set before bowing 4-6 1-6. Many of her games could have gone either way. Welch took care of Como’s Xiong 6-0 6-0, before surviving a “fan-based” scare versus Cretin Derham Hall’s Jackie Koenig, losing 1-6 in the first set before fighting her way back to a 1-6 6-2 7-5 victory. Her next opponent was Highland Park’s Mikayla Rogers, who had just survived a four-hour match versus East Ridge’s Nicole Robinson, but Welch dispatched her opponent easily at 6-1 6-2. As in 2011, Welch again faced No. 2 seed Natalie Phippen of Stillwater in semifinals. Although the score was 0-6 1-6, most games went to deuce. The highly competitive play continued in the third-place match versus seventh-grade phenom Olivia Paradise, with Welch losing 4-6 2-6. In six years of play, Welch was the winningest White Bear Area High School girls tennis player in history with 96 varsity wins.
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