Tennis: Rogers duo stopped just short of state, finish 24-2

Julia Sporer (left) and Rachel Dodd of Rogers are shown here during a regular-season match at home. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Julia Sporer (left) and Rachel Dodd of Rogers are shown here during a regular-season match at home. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Rogers seniors Julia Sporer and Rachel Dodd won their first 24 matches together this year, but were not quite able to add a 25th win that would have put them in the state tennis tournament.

Sporer and Dodd, seeded second, won their Section 5AA semifinal match over Champlin Park’s Jessica Kelly and Emily Sjostrom 6-0, 6-1 at Read-Sweatt courts in Minneapolis on Tuesday morning, then lost in the championship match to Centennial’s top-seeded Emily Johnson and Meghan Longen 6-3, 6-4.

The top two advance to state, but the Royal duo had to play a “true-second” match because they had not faced the third-place finishers, Emily Hauer and Heidi Hannula of Coon Rapids.

The Coon Rapids team fended off Sporer and Dodd 7-5, 6-4.

“It was a real emotional day,” said their coach, Debbie Conley. “They  had a real tough second match, and then right away had to play a real tough third match. The girls were pretty sad. They really wanted to go to state.”

Rogers has never had a state tennis qualifier in team or individuals. Sporer and Dodd, who were 24-2 overall and  won two sub-section and three section matches, were the first to come this close.

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