NEGAUNEE — The Negaunee High School girls tennis team remained undefeated this season by winning three of four flights in both singles and doubles for a 6-2 victory over visiting Escanaba on Monday afternoon.
Every match was decided in straight sets, with the Eskymos winning both matches at No. 1 flights and the Miners the rest to improve to 13-0-1.
“I am awfully proud of what this team (has) accomplished thus far,” Negaunee head coach Kyle Saari said in an email. “There were a ton of question marks about who would play where and step up in various parts of the lineup, and everyone has exceeded expectations.
“All you can ask is for them to attack each day and try to get better, and they continue to try to do so. That’s rare for a young group, and for them to piece together 13 wins, is the first step in moving forward.”
He pointed out several of his players for praise as Aubrey Johnson won 6-4, 6-1 at No. 2 singles over Esky’s Sonya Maki, and Ava Gustitus and Paityn Brunette were victorious at No. 4 doubles, 7-6 (7-2), 6-0 over Carly Bowden and Molly Smale.
“Aubrey made a major change with her serve and it seemed to pay off,” Saari said. “Ava has done a real nice job filling in for us, and Paityn paired with her today and played great to pull out their match.
“Cody Scanlon, our JV coach, continues to have our border (-line JV and varsity players) prepared and many of them can step in seamlessly.”
The Mid-Peninsula Conference meet that will include the Miners, Westwood, Ishpeming and Gwinn is set for Thursday morning in Iron Mountain.
Westwood 8, Gwinn 0
On Monday at Gwinn, Patriots’ No. 1 singles player Lexi Olson was extended to three sets before getting her win, while at No. 2 doubles, Westwood’s Kaylin Doney and Nolia Dawson were pushed hard in their two-set victory.
Olson won her match 6-0, 4-6, 10-4 over the Modeltowners’ Miaha Schiefel with the third set played in a pro-style tiebreaker, while Doney and Dawson prevailed 7-5, 7-5 over Gwinn’s Kayla Watt and Nola Puyear.
Just six flights were contested as the Modeltowners didn’t have players available at No. 4 in both singles and doubles.
Escanaba 5, Westwood 3
On Monday at Westwood, the Patriots played twice that day with this makeup from last week.
Westwood got victories at No. 4 singles, where Samantha Ruby won 6-3, 6-1 over Esky’s Maggie Martin, at No. 1 doubles as Izzie Marta and Alyssa Couveau took a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5) marathon over Delaney McIntyre and Natalie Williams, and at No. 3 doubles with Morgan Schneider and Kaya Etelamaki prevailed 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 in another long match over Isy Brown and Sophie Wagner.
“Our No. 1 doubles played a very close match and lost in a tiebreak at the (Kingsford) Invite a few weeks ago, so I was excited to see things go their way today vs. Escanaba,” Patriots head coach Sarah Massie said in an email. “We’ve talked a lot about taking control of the point and ‘making plays’ at No. 1 doubles this year.
“Alyssa and Izzie are starting to find their groove at No. 1 (doubles) and have been able to see success and also fight through some tough situations this season.
“These types of matches are what prepare them for tournament play. (The Mid-Peninsula Conference and UP Finals tournaments) should be fun for them.”
The Patriots also lost several close matches, the closest at No. 3 singles where the Eskymos’ Molly VanDamme defeated Westwood’s Emersyn Nelson 7-5, 7-6 (9-7).
Marquette 7, Kingsford 1
On Monday at Kingsford, the Redettes earned every one of their match victories in two sets, with their lone defeat coming in a three-setter.
“It felt like we hadn’t played a match in forever, but that is just due to the super busy schedule we have had the past few weeks,” MSHS head coach Karl Thomsen said in an email. “With that being said, (this) was a great tuneup match for the (Great Northern Conference meet).
“I’m not sure what the conference tournament or (the UP Finals) will have in store for us, but I do know this group of girls has been a riot to coach and have taken big strides this year.”
The GNC meet is scheduled for 10 am today at the MSHS courts.
Marquette singles sweep came off the rackets of No. 1 Kaia Miller, No. 2 Annabella Martinson, No. 3 Cecelia Jacuzzo and No. 4 Natalie Deneau. The closest of their four matches was Deneau’s, a 7-6 (7-1), 6-1 win over the Flivvers’ Allette Shanks.
“On the singles side of the meet, all four of our girls played smart matches and hit a lot of great shots,” Thomsen said. “I was very happy with the midmatch adjustments both Natalie Deneau and Annabella Martinson made, which helped them prevail.”
In doubles, No. 1 Payton Bullock and Payton Pleaugh were among the Redette winners, 6-3, 6-1 over Lexi Vross and Ellyse Doehler.
“Over on the doubles’ courts, all the girls continued to show growth in their communication and positioning,” the Marquette coach said. “At No. 1 doubles, the Paytons had some bus legs early on, but settled in and hit a lot of high-quality returns.”
The Redettes also got doubles wins from Eliina Brazeau and Nistha Gautam at No. 3 and Lindsey Lake and Lexi Hammerstrom at No. 4.
“Lindsey Lake and Lexi Hammerstrom continued to gel with their nice 1-2 serve-and-volley game,” Thomsen said.
Marquette’s only loss came at No. 2 doubles, where Kingsford’s Addie Rutter and Linnea Grubb outlasted the Redettes’ Hosanna Brindle and Maija Parkkonen, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.
Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is [email protected]