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Breaking gender barriers, local teen's undefeated season comes to an end

Breaking gender barriers, local teen's undefeated season comes to an end

(THE MED CITY BEAT) - Rochester's Jessie Aney was defeated Thursday in the semifinals of Minnesota's Class AA boys tennis tournament

The loss ends a remarkable run for the Century High School senior, who prior to the match had been undefeated in her first season in the male league. Aney is the only girl ever to compete in the individuals portion of the state' high school boys tennis tourney.

 
 

Aney won her first match of the tournament in front of a packed crowd Thursday morning at the University of Minnesota’s tennis center. She defeated Como Park's Nathan Parsons, the number No. 4 seed in the tournament.

"The atmosphere was great," she told the Star Tribune. "There [were] a lot of people watching, which I think is really fun. I think it was a good start to the tournament. I fought hard and I did what I had to do to win that match." 

 
 

Aney, a two-time state champion in the girls tournament, recently told WCCO-TV in the Twin Cities that she's now focusing her career on national tournaments.

She ranked the fourth best high school girls tennis player in the country. She's also on the state's premier female hockey players.

At 113 milers per hour, her serve is already on par with female professionals, says KTTC-TV's Chris Barriere. Her forehand isn't bad either (see video).

The station recently profiled the tennis standout in its "Athlete of the Week" series. She said she was a "little hesitant" about joining the boys' team at first, but now couldn't imagine it any other way.

"I'm just like one of the guys now and they've just been incredible," she said. 

The Century boys tennis team finished third in the Class AA tournament. According to the Post-Bulletin, it was the school's first loss of the season.

Correction: A prior version of this story said Aney was the first girl to ever compete in the boys tournament. But in truth, she if the first female to ever compete in the individuals portion of the tournament.


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