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Posted by Guest (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 10/22/2013 8:03:12 PM

The girls tennis players from United South Central have had some new experiences this week. The big one is this: the Rebels are playing in the Class 1A state tournament for the first time in six years.

There are lot of other experiences associated with that. For example, the girls went through a workout on Monday using the space that was available in their hotel; coach Jill Bailey set up stations in the hotel exercise room, using a treadmill, an elliptical machine and a medicine ball while also having the athletes run up and down a stairwell to get limbered up for Tuesday’s team quarterfinals at Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis.

The Rebels also practiced at Reed-Sweatt on Monday. When they arrived a couple of hours before their 2 p.m. quarterfinal Tuesday against Staples-Motley, the Rebels went over some things that are afterthoughts to teams that are accustomed to playing at state. Bailey talked about the courts at Reed-Sweatt – five courts underneath each of two inflatable bubbles – and where each match would be played.

She also handed out souvenir bag tags that go to every player on every team, as well as state tournament programs. Some of the Rebels saw the bag tags in the coach’s hand and said, “What are those?”

This is United South Central’s ninth trip to state and the first with Bailey as the coach. Since before the season began, getting to state was a team goal.

“Definitely,” said Bailery. “I knew that we could make it happen. We always prepared for practices and kind of got them mentally ready for thinking of late October.

“It’s pretty exciting. The girls made this their goal for the year and we’re excited to be here and excited to take care of business, too.”

The Rebels were the No. 1 seed in Section 2 and defeated LeSueur-Henderson, Jordan and Blue Earth Area to capture the berth in the state tournament. Their victory over second-seeded Blue Earth area was by a 4-3 score.

“It seems close but I guess mentally as a coach I really wasn’t nervous,” Bailey said of the section final. “I just felt that we could do it because we had beaten them earlier in the season.”

The Rebels fell in Tuesday’s first round to Staples-Motley X-X. That moved United South Central into the consolation bracket. In the singles and doubles portions of the tournament – which will be held Thursday and Friday -- senior Claire Christian will play singles and junior Linsey Thisius and sophomore Kia Legred will compete in doubles.


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*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry: 4,195
(*During the 2013-14 school year)
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