Girls' tennis: Andersson grabs third at states
A stranger in a strange land, Maja Andersson wasn't exactly sure what to expect from her high school tennis experience this fall.
An exchange student from Denmark, the Northern Lebanon senior happily got more than she bargained for.
Andersson capped a wildly successful fall on Saturday with a third-place finish at the PIAA Class AA state singles tourney at Hershey Racquet Club.
Andersson, the Lebanon County and Lancaster-Lebanon League AA singles champ, opened the day with a 6-2, 6-0 loss to eventual state champ Elene Tsokilauri of Delaware County Christian, before bouncing back to secure a third-place medal with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Hannah Phillips of Carlynton.
"It's been fun," Andersson said. "I wasn't expecting anything when I came here, so everything has been a positive experience."
"It's been exciting to watch her play and watch her have fun," Northern Lebanon coach Carrie Ann Derr added.
Tsokilauri, though, made sure Andersson wouldn't have any fun at her expense, using her powerful lefty groundstrokes and penetrating serve to blunt the Northern Lebanon standout's own considerable power.
Tsokilauri took the first three games of the match on the way to controlling the opening set, and fought off a deuce game to open the second that represented a brief opportunity for Andersson to work her way into the match.
She was far from dejected about the missed chance, though.
"It was tough, but I just took it like I always do," said the even-keeled Andersson. "I don't know, I didn't really figure her out. That was kinda hard. She was just a better player."
But as she proved in the consolation match and throughout her season as a whole, not many were better than Andersson this season.
"She's excited to get a medal," Derr said with a smile. "She wanted a big trophy, but she's excited about that."