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Hematites blanked by Mountaineers

August 24, 2012
By CRAIG REMSBURG - Senior Sports Writer ( , The Mining Journal

ISHPEMING - They beat the rain Thursday, but they couldn't beat the Iron Mountain High School girls tennis team.

Playing their fourth match in three days, the Ishpeming Hematites dropped an 8-0 decision to the visiting Mountaineers in a contest suspended seven minutes due to a light sprinkle.

"We had a good effort out there. When (my players) got here (Thursday) morning, a lot of them were sore," Ishpeming coach Erl Langness said after his team had fallen to 1-4 on the young season.

"That's a lot of tennis. We need some time to recover."

Only one Ishpeming bout went to three sets, that at No. 4 singles where Mollie Pruett fell to IM's Emily Chang, 6-1, 3-6, 10-4.

"Chang's a good player," Langness said. "To go three sets against her is a good match."

The Mountaineers, with freshmen at Nos. 2, 3 and 4 singles, as well as No. 4 doubles, improved to 5-1-1 on the season.

"Across the board, we got some good performances," Mountaineers coach Greg Stegall said. "With five freshmen, they're playing beyond their years. They're showing a lot of maturity."

At No. 1 singles, Laurie March of IM downed Gabby Croley, 6-3, 6-1.

"I made a lot of mistakes and (Croley) is a good competitor," March said. "She hit it where I wasn't and she's quick.

"But I stayed consistent and waited for her to make mistakes. I also hit a lot of net shots well and my serve was pretty good."

Stegall said March is playing well against some tough competition.

"She has a good attitude," he said. "Win or lose, she walks away and tries to learn from it to get ready for her next match. She doesn't get down on herself.

"She has been working on her serve and has definitely improved there. Her confidence is better, too."

At No. 3 singles, the Mountaineers' Olivia Truscott outlasted Melanee Bess in one of the day's most contested matches, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3.

"I played hard and my serves were a lot better," Bess said. "There were a couple of points where I didn't hustle as hard as I usually do, but I made up for it in other parts of my game.

"(Truscott) was faster than me. She had good ball placement and ... it was hard to keep my feet moving, especially after three days of tennis."

IM's Katie Lusardi and Sarah Pirkola toppled Taylor Croley and Jordann Grigg at No. 1 doubles, 6-1, 6-1.

"Iron Mountain is a strong team," Langness said. "They have people back with experience in most matches."

Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251.



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