Homecoming week can do great things for struggling teams.
Entering Tuesday's Central Lakes Conference tennis match against the Little Falls Flyers, the Brainerd Warriors were battling a five-game losing streak.
Thanks to a clean sweep at singles, and a win at No. 1 doubles, that streak snapped with a 5-2 victory over the Flyers.
No. 1 singles player Heidi Johnson and Teresa Fogal at No. 4 won in straight sets to set the tone early. With two wins under their belts, the Warriors' remaining matches were decided in comeback fashion.
Kelcie Parrish, at No. 2 singles, started slow, losing the first set 2-6. But the sophomore battled back and dominated Jessica Peterson 6-1, 6-0 in the final sets to win.
Katie Watland at No. 3, normally a doubles player, knocked out a 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 win over Maggie Cotton.
Brainerd's Erica Nelson hit a forehand to return a serve in her No. 2 doubles match.
"I like playing both but it's just kind of hard switching on and off," Watland said about changing from singles to doubles.
The senior was slicing the ball, forcing Cotton to use her backhand. The strategy worked.
"It's very nice to get the win," said Watland, who recorded two singles victories last weekend in the Warriors' invitational.
The team of Lyndsey Travica-Erica Nelson won the first set 6-3, but struggled in the second set. Down 5-2, the duo battled back to send the second set into a tie breaker. They won the tie breaker 7-4 to win the match.
"When we got on our serve we picked it up there," Travica said of the second-set comeback. "We told each other that we needed to step it up and work together to get it."
Travica, like Watland, has been affected by changing lineups. Travica has stayed in doubles, but her playing partners have changed.
"It's hard at first," said Travica. "But then you work together and talk your way through as you go."
The win gives Brainerd three this season and couldn't have come at a better time.
"We do have some ability, and we do have some talent, it's just a matter of putting it together," said Warriors coach Bruce Thompson. "We needed this. We needed a win. It's homecoming week, the kids needed a win and they needed to have some fun."
Brainerd 5, Little Falls 2
No. 1 -- Heidi Johnson (B) def. Elizabeth Brisk 6-1, 6-4; No. 2 -- Kelcie Parrish (B) def. Jessica Peterson 2-6, 6-1, 6-0; No. 3 -- Katie Watland (B) def. Maggie Cotton; No. 4 -- Teresa Fogal (B) def. Jolee Miedema 6-1, 6-1
No. 1 -- Lyndsey Travica-Erica Nelson (B) def. Heather Rakow-Nicki Olson 6-3, 7-6, (7-6); No. 2 -- Shelby Swenson-Jessica Tonder (LF) def. Ashley Ryan-Megan Owens 6-4, 6-2; No. 3 -- Melissa Ploof-Melissa Waytashek (LF) def. Becca Clemens-Maya Kuehn.
Conference -- B 3-8, LF 2-8. Overall -- B 3-11, LF 4-13. Next meet -- Brainerd at St. Cloud Apollo 4:30 p.m. Thursday; LF vs. Willmar 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
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