Blair tennis players go 2-4 at state tournament

Nilges, Lundberg earn singles victories

Blair senior Alexandra Nilges closed out her prep career with a 1-1 state tournament showing in Lincoln.
Blair senior Alexandra Nilges closed out her prep career with a 1-1 state tournament showing in Lincoln.
Grant Egger/File

Coach David Christensen's Blair High School tennis team combined to go 2-4 in Class B state tournament matches Thursday at Woods Tennis Center.
Alexandra Nilges and Abi Lundberg won a match apiece in singles play before the end of the Bears' spring campaign in Lincoln.
“This being my first year in competitive tennis, I had no idea what to expect,” Christensen wrote in response to questions posed by Enterprise Media Group. “It's been amazing though.”
The coach enjoyed creating bonds with his BHS players.
“The girls and parents were amazing,” Christensen noted. “Without their support, we wouldn't have been able to succeed the way we did this year.”
Nilges won her first state match against Nebraska City's Megan Essary. The 6-0, 6-0 No. 1 singles win moved her into a match with Omaha Skutt's Scarlett Lunning, which the Skyhawk won.
In No. 2 singles, Lundberg topped Hastings' Meeka Francis 6-0, 7-5, before a loss to Kit Schrock of Kearney Catholic.
The Bears' Nos. 1 and 2 doubles teams both went 0-2 in Class B play, too. Mallory Dreher and Abi Rothlisberger lost a 6-0, 6-3 match, while Jenna Murch-Shafer and Jazmyne Roach fell 6-2, 6-4.
Overall, Christensen said Blair improved throughout the season.
“They gained confidence, and you can tell their ground strokes were getting harder, their serves were improving and they started to become more consistent,” the coach explained. “They also started to understand the tactical side a little more.”
The Bears built knowledge in doubles play and used it “to attack their opponents,” he added.
Christensen said he was lucky to have the large senior class he did for his first BHS season as head coach. The group, which included Nilges, Dreher, Rothlisberger, Murch-Shafer and Roach, was well-coached and acted as mentors to their younger teammates, the coach noted, crediting former coach Dallas Roach.
“Because of how willing the seniors were to mentor the younger girls, I am pretty excited about next year,” Christensen said. “We have a bunch of athletic girls that were eager to learn and improved a lot this year.”
It will be difficult moving on without the Class of 2023 all the same, he confirmed.

Thursday at Woods Tennis Center, Lincoln
No. 1 Singles — Alexandra Nilges (5-17 overall, 1-1 at state)
Beat Nebraska City's Megan Essary 6-0, 6-0
Lost to Omaha Skutt's Scarlett Lunning 6-2, 6-0
No. 2 Singles — Abi Lundberg (2-16, 1-1)
Beat Hastings' Meeka Francis 6-0, 7-5
Lost to Kearney Catholic's Kit Schrock 6-4, 6-2
No. 1 Doubles — Mallory Dreher (7-15, 0-1) and Abi Rothlisberger (7-14, 0-1)
Lost to Hastings' Cara Ansbach and Lexi Benson 6-0, 6-3
No. 2 Doubles — Jenna Murch-Shafer (7-14, 0-1) and Jazmyne Roach (7-14, 0-1)
Lost to Omaha Skutt's Sage McGill and Marin Brummund 6-2, 6-4
Source: NSAA

Blair Tennis