Whomever plays Brianna Rademacher better have her running shoes on.
The sophomore No. 3 singles player for the Brainerd Warriors considers speed one of her assets and she puts it to use in every match.
"She runs down every ball," Warriors coach Ellen Fussy said. "She gets to everything. She can read the ball coming off her opponent's racket. You better have an oxygen tank on when you play her because she will make you move. She's not only not afraid to run the court she will make her opponent run the court.
"She has a wonderful work ethic. She comes ready to work. She's always there, always trying to improve her game."
Through eight dual meets, and three tournaments, Rademacher has a 21-2 overall record. In conference play she is 7-0 and has not lost a set.
"I'm just going for everything, just leaving it all there," Rademacher said of her success in conference play.
Last weekend she finished third in the conference tournament, winning her first match, and losing her second, before rebounding to win her last two.
"My first match went really well," Rademacher said. "Then I played (St. Cloud Tech's Kristin Wurm) who was probably the best girl I've played so far. I lost to her, but it was a good match. It will help me in my game. I won my matches the rest of the day. It was a good day overall."
Since moving up from No. 4 to No. 3, Rademacher has won five of six matches. She can tell the competition is more skilled at No. 3.
"You definitely have to play better," Rademacher said. "I've noticed you have to be right there with them, you have to take more chances it seems. It helps me improve my game to play people that are better."
"She's risen to the occasion since she's been at No. 3," Fussy said.
Position: No. 3 singles
Career highlight: Being selected athlete of week
Grade-point average: 3.5
Favorite class: English
Favorite food: Spaghetti
Favorite movie: Remember the Titans
Hobbies: Playing sports
Future plans: Hopes to become cosmetologist
Favorite tennis player: Rafael Nadal
Parents: Mike and Emma Rademacher
Rademacher's approach is to be consistent and stay with her game plan.
"I just try to play my game," she said. "Don't let them take control, be consistent, not let them mess with you ... hitting everything back, going for everything."
Rademacher works on her game whenever possible in the offseason.
"I was in a lot of tournaments, especially during the summer," she said. "I had one like every week. I just try to hit, get out with friends and hit, and just stay in shape."
Fussy termed Rademacher's work ethic as "unbelievable."
"She gets in there, does her job," Fussy said. "When we ask her to do something she does it. She's quiet Warrior, a steady, quiet Warrior that put in a lot of time over the summer. She came into camp ready to go.
"Her work ethic and coachability, if coach (Chuck) Whalen and I make a suggestion she will try it. She does whatever we ask her to do."
Rademacher's play is one reason Brainerd is 6-0 in the conference, 8-0 overall, heading into Thursday's home dual meet against Little Falls.
"I hope as a team we can go as far as we possibly can, and I want to stay undefeated in conference," Rademacher said.
Other notable efforts:
• Mackayla Headlee, tennis, was champion at No. 4 singles in the CLC tournament.
• The No. 1 team of Zoe Houle-Taylor Headlee and the No. 3 team of Katie Southard-Kathryn Chandler won doubles titles in the CLC tournament.
• Laura Goll, swimming, won two events and was on a first-place relay against Fergus Falls.
• Sam Pagel, football, had a fumble recovery and quarterback sack against Moorhead.
• Sydnie Mauch, volleyball, had 17 kills and 9 blocks at the Hill City tournament.
MIKE BIALKA may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 855-5861.
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