Fanny Hagmeier has only been in the United States for a short while, but she's caught on quickly to high school tennis.
The German foreign exchange student picked up the lone win for the Brainerd Warriors tennis team in a 6-1 Central Lakes Conference loss to the Willmar Cardinals Tuesday.
Hagmeier scored a 6-4, 7-5 win over Shelby Warner and improved her record at No. 2 singles to 3-1.
In Germany, tennis players would play neighboring cities once a week and had to play at the singles and doubles positions. For the Warriors, Hagmeier has only had to focus on singles and her game has thrived.
"My serve and my backhand were good," Hagmeier said. "I could place my backhand really good and I had a few aces so I was happy. When my first serve got in it was hard for the other girl to get it."
Brainerd coach Marni Whalen said the first week was a huge adjustment for Hagmeier. Getting used to her teammates, practicing every day, as well as language and culture barriers have been a tall task.
"The first week was overwhelming for Fanny and she'd get down on herself," Whalen said. "She'd only been in the States for a few days and was not used to high school tennis.
"In Germany the stronger players play in clubs so she didn't know what to expect. I'm seeing a whole shift this week and she's playing strong tennis."
With six freshmen starting against Willmar, Whalen is faced with trying to help young players with little varsity experience improve and learn the game as they go.
One freshman who's holding her own is No. 1 singles player Kayla Huether. She fell in three sets to the Cardinals' Kaily Rice, winning the first set in a tie breaker but dropped the next two.
"Kayla just goes after everything and doesn't let anything go by," said Whalen. "She also feels the court and knows where her opponent is. She's a little surprising for opponents. She mixes things up on certain things and it can throw opponents off."
Brainerd's Megan Jacobson, another freshman, also took her opponent to three sets. Jacobson won her first set at No. 4 singles before dropping the next two.
Whalen admits her squad is weak in doubles, where four freshmen played a possible six spots.
"Right now I'm putting my three strongest players in singles," said Whalen. "I'm trying to get some doubles combinations but we're so young and they've never played together so we're really struggling in doubles right now. It's going to be a lot of hard work."
Willmar 6, Brainerd 1
No. 1 -- Kaily Rice (W) def. Kayla Huether 6-7 (7-9), 6-4, 6-3; No. 2 -- Fanny Hagmeier (B) def. Shelby Warner 6-4, 7-5; No. 3 -- Ranelle Johnson (W) def. Megan Owens 6-1, 6-2; No. 4 -- Kenzie Anderson (W) def. Megan Jacobson 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.
No. 1 -- Amanda Bredeson-Andrea Brown (W) def. Natalie Reponen-Ariel Aakhus 6-0, 6-0; No. 2 -- Leslie Marcus-Allie Ellingson (W) def. Catherine Luckemeyer-Abby Ahlberg 6-0, 6-3; No. 3 -- Eva Rodelius-Brittin Dahle (W) def. Amber Arnoldy-Erica Mortensen 6-1, 6-3.
Conference -- Brd 0-1. Overall -- Brd. 1-3. Next meet -- Brd. at St. Cloud Apollo 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
TROY GUNDERSON can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5865.
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