BURNSVILLE 4, HARDING 3
An injury, line up adjustments plus a miscounting helped lift the host #4 Blaze over #5 Harding in the quarterfinals of the team portion of the state badminton tournament. This was the only one of the four matches at the quarterfinal level to be decided by one position. The only other match of the day to be decided by one spot came in the sweet 16 round at Johnson when #8 Central edged out #9 Edina. The top two seeds (#1 Johnson, #2 Washington) pitched shut outs in their first two matches. #3 Humboldt swept #14 Washburn and then beat #6 Highland Park 5-2. #4 Burnsville is crashing the St. Paul semifinal scene.
The Blaze had to survive an injury to their second singles player Delaney Woog. Woog was in a boot thanks to a soccer injury the night before. That meant the singles had to move up a notch. The listed fourth singles, Mina Nguyen, came up big for Burnsville at third singles with a 21-13, 23-21 victory over Sheng Xiong. Burnsville split with the Knights taking the odd singles. Burnsville also took the top two doubles. The three matches that went three sets all fell to the Blaze—and that after losing the first set in each. Burnsville also took three of the four sets that were decided by two points; and all three that went to extra points.
It was at first singles in the second set that the match may have shifted over to the Blaze. After all the first sets were over Harding was up 5-2. Alisia Lemmons of Harding took the first set 21-13 after racing off to a 7-1 lead. Maddie Blackbourn of Burnsville bounced back to close to 9-7. Lemmons remained in the lead and closed with her second run of the set, this time four points.
It was Blackbourn that grabbed the initiative in the second set with runs on her second and fourth services to pull in front 8-3. Both players traded runs of three later for a 12-5 Blackbourn lead. Blackbourn was up 19-17 when Lemmons found new life, and also this is where this set pivoted, indeed the entire match. Lemmons got a side out on two stroke drive and then had a seven stroke soft drive to tie it at 19. There was an ace/hitting error in the net from what I transcribed. Blackbourn had called time apparently from what I found out later causing a replay. Lemmons then, according to my records, added two more points capping a four point run and what appeared to be a victory. I stopped my stop watch. But play continued. Blackbourn got a two stroke clear and got the bird back. Another five stroke clear, followed by a three stroke drop and we were headed to a deciding third set.
Once again it was Blackbourn getting off to the fast start with a run of six to take a 7-2 lead. On the switch over, Blackbourn was in front 11-4. Momentum shifted then to Lemmons as she responded with a five point run, but still trailed 11-9. A missed serve put the bird back in control of Blackbourn and she took advantage with two more points, her second run of three in the set. Two services later she again had a run of three and led 19-11. Lemmons had one more gasp with a run of four to close to 19-15. A seven stroke rally that went wide gave Blackbourn the chance to close off the match which she did with a five stroke clear. This was the fourth and deciding Burnsville point in the books.
This was the second time this season that Burnsville beat Harding 4-3. The first time came on May 4.
Maddy Blackbourn 2, Alisia Lemmons 1
(13-21, 22-20, 21-15)
|Longest side out string||5||7|
|Longest point string||6||7|
|Points after 11||26||38|
|Points after own errors||16||13|
|Strokes per point||3.857||3.807|
|Set Point %||2/2-1.000||2/2-1.000*|