SARTELL - St. Cloud Tech jumped into the driver's seat in the race for the Central Lakes Conference championship with a 6-1 victory over the Brainerd Warriors Tuesday at Gold's Gym.
Tech, 7-0 in CLC play, 11-1 overall, can capture the title outright with a win Wednesday at Alexandria. The Warriors, 7-1 and 9-1, host Little Falls Wednesday and Sartell Thursday.
Tech has 14 points and will finish with 16 if its beats Alexandria. If Brainerd beats Little Falls and Sartell it would finish with 15. The Warriors can win the title if Alexandria beats Tech and Brainerd wins twice.
"We knew this was going to be the match of the season for us, it just happened to be toward the end," Warriors coach Ellen Fussy said.
Mackayla Headlee won Brainerd's only match with a 6-2, 6-3 win at No. 4 singles.
The Warriors went three sets in three matches and would have gone three at No. 1 singles, which played two sets and a tiebreaker since the outcome of the dual meet was already decided.
"Basically, we had four 3-setters," Fussy said. "Taylor Headlee would have been three sets, Brianna Rademacher played three sets at No. 3 and No. 2 and No. 3 doubles were both 3-setters.
"We lost the first set in all those matches. That makes me, as a coach, feel pretty good because we didn't lay down and die. The girls were willing to work and push to a third set."
Tuesday's rain forced the meet to be moved indoors.
"I'm not disappointed by the girls' effort, they showed up and played, under different circumstances," Fussy said. "We haven't played these courts. Going from outside to inside is a little bit of an adjustment, and we adjusted just fine. The loss didn't have anything to do with the courts. We came to play but we just didn't have any firepower today."
Taylor Headlee, Mikinzee Salo and the doubles teams of Kayla Kraemer-Zoe Houle and Sam Kletscher-Courtney Tusler suffered their first conference losses Tuesday.
Brainerd is scheduled to open play in the North Subsection 8-2A tournament Oct. 13-14 at Grand Forks, N.D.
"Hopefully, things go well for us next week and we could have a little redemption for (Tech) at the section," Fussy said, "but things will have to fall into place for us."
• Brainerd has won the last three CLC titles.
• Tech had won 16 straight titles from 1990 through 2005.
St. Cloud Tech 6, Brainerd 1
No. 1: Parul Kapoor (SCT) def. Taylor Headlee 6-4, 1-6 (7-5)
No. 2: Rachel Zweiner (SCT) def. Mikinzee Salo 7-5, 6-4
No. 3: Kristin Wurm (SCT) def. Brianna Rademacher 6-2, 4-6, 6-2
No. 4: Mackayla Headlee (Brd) def. Leah Wurm 6-2, 6-3
No. 1: Sammi Grimmer-Katie Haus (SCT) def. Zoe Houle-Kayla Kraemer 7-5, 6-1
No. 2: Abby Mix-Mickey Moran (SCT) def. Sam Kletscher-Courtney Tusler 6-3, 1-6, 6-1
No. 3: Greta Zimmerman Sam Bowman (SCT) def. Katie Southard-Karthryn Chandler 6-4, 5-7, 6-4
Conference: Brd 7-1. Overall: Brd 9-1. Next: Little Falls at Brainerd 3:45 p.m. Wednesday.
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