Becky Korf and Emily Stumpf are quality tennis players but when paired together they're state caliber.
The Pierz Pioneers doubles team competed in the Class 1A state individual tennis tournament Oct. 25 at the Nicollet Tennis Center in Minneapolis.
They won their opening-round match 6-1, 6-0 over Kelsey Mueller-Sam Stenzel of St. James. They then fell to Foley's Jean Heise-Alison Thorsness in the second round 6-0, 6-1.
"In the first match they played their game and dominated them," said Pierz coach Karla Jensen. "They just really took charge at the net. They were real confident so it was fun to watch.
"If they would have played their game in the second match it would have been a whole different match. They lost their focus and looked a little sluggish."
Jensen said the Foley team could do no wrong. Everything was dropping for them, adding to the frustration of Stumpf-Korf.
The duo advanced to the state tournament by defeating Pine City's Brittany Louden-Jenna Olson in the Section 7, true-second-place match 6-1, 6-3.
The Pierz juniors defeated Megan Fahey-Gina Mancin of Eveleth-Gilbert to open section play. They then lost to eventual section champions Jane Polski-Lindsey Schoden (Virginia) before beating Heather Rice-Kelly Landborg (Eveleth-Gilbert) 6-3, 6-1.
They are only the second doubles team from Pierz to advance to the state tournament. Last year, Shiela Stegora and Sheena Loidolt were the first Pierz players to make the state tournament, finishing fourth.
Because both players are juniors, Jensen is optimistic next season will bring more state players.
"That helps a lot, having been down there," said Jensen. "Our doubles teams are usually pretty good. Emily is really a singles player and likes singles a lot better than doubles but she's turning into a good doubles player.
"It is an adjustment mentally. She and Becky are both good hitters. Becky's so tall and she's awesome at the net so she can be a little intimidating."
Korf played doubles most of the year. Jensen placed her in the singles lineup a few times during the regular season.
"She likes playing the net," said Jensen. "She's a pretty consistent hitter on her returns. She's more of a forehand hitter.
"She's pretty easygoing. I think that does translate on to the court, but they're both very competitive and like to win."
Korf and Stumpf also play basketball. While Korf is more easygoing, Stumpf wears her emotions on her sleeve.
"She's a very emotional player but she's getting better at not letting things get to her," Jensen said.
"Emily is more quiet, but she has a lot of inner strength," Jensen said.
Other notable performances:
Cross country -- Jamie Talberg, Pierz, finished second at the Section 5, Class 1A meet to advance to state.
The Staples-Motley Cardinals won the Section 6, Class 1A meet for the third year in a row.
Tennis -- The Staples-Motley Cardinals finished second at the Class 1A state tournament.
Volleyball -- Teresa Parker, Pequot Lakes, had 17 kills, 3 blocks and 1 dig vs. Blackduck. She added seven kills and a block vs. Cass Lake.
Verndale's Raya Kern had 11 kills, 11 digs, 8 blocks and three ace serves vs. Laporte.
Michelle Honek, Staples-Motley, had 13 kills, 2 blocks and two ace serves vs. Menahga.
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