Megan Syrjala joins winners as Negaunee girls tennis team breezes again

ISHPEMING — Megan Syrjala joined her teammates in the win column, though she had a hard-fought battle to get there, as Negaunee scored an 8-0 victory over Ishpeming in a high school girls tennis meet held Tuesday.

Playing at No. 1 singles, Syrjala recorded a 7-5, 6-3 victory over the Hematites’ Madison Pruett for her first victory in three matches this season as the Miners improved to 3-0.

“Negaunee is a very strong team,” IHS coach Erl Langness said. “The best match was at (No. 1) singles where there were many good points and long rallies.”

Miners coach Kyle Saari was also impressed with the rest of his team, which dropped just 12 games in the other seven flights.

Coming in for particular praise were No. 3 singles player Lexi Peterson and No. 4 singles player Maci Aho.

“We were able to finish a lot of balls at the net today, which is more and more important as the year progresses,” he said. “Lexi and Maci have gotten off to real strong starts at (Nos.) 3 and 4 singles.”

Negaunee is back home for a 4:30 p.m. match today against Gladstone, while Ishpeming goes to Iron Mountain at 11 a.m. EDT Thursday.

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Marquette 4, West Iron County 4

At Iron River, the visiting Redettes won three of four doubles flights, while the Wykons did the same in singles to forge the tie.

“I thought we did an excellent job against a very deep and talented Marquette team,” WIC coach Joe Serbentas said. “Their entire team was back from last season and we knew it was going to be a tough battle to win.”

The teams split the pair of doubles matches that were extended to three sets.

At No. 2, Marquette’s Rachel Ely and Carly Sandstrom pulled out a 6-1, 5-7, 6-3 win over Emily Nelson and Tori Bociek, while at No. 1, WIC’s Natalie Tomasoski and Eden Golliher prevailed 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 6-1 over the Redettes’ Ashlee Tripp and Rachael Hunt.

Serbentas described the No. 1 doubles match as a nearly two-hour “slugfest.”

Marquette also won at No. 3 doubles with Kaeleigh Talbacka and Sydney Kivi and No. 4 doubles with Emma Melchiori and Ashley Kaiser. Each of those duos dropped just two games in much easier victories.

The Redettes’ singles win came at No. 2, where Elysa Olivier prevailed 6-2, 6-1 over Colbi Laturi.

“The doubles carried us today,” MSHS coach Derek Sandstrom said. “Elysa has another strong day, and Ashley earned a varsity win for us.”

The coach was also happy with the effort of No. 4 singles player Molly Kilpela, who lost 6-4, 6-1 to the Wykons’ Anna Malmquist.

“Molly had her first varsity match and I think the match was closer than the score shows,” Sandstrom said.

Up next for the Redettes was a dual match at home against Westwood this morning before they travel to the Patriots’ courts to take part in the Westwood Invitational at 10 a.m. Thursday.

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Iron Mountain 8, Gwinn 0

At Gwinn, Modeltowners coach Darcia Mattson sees potential and progress already out of her rather young team.

“Iron Mountain came in as a powerhouse, but I’m very proud of my girls, especially Karlee Walker,” Mattson said. “She had the longest match of the day.”

Walker fell 6-2, 6-1 to IM’s Arianna Morel at No. 4 singles.

“We had a great match,” Mountaineers new coach Anthony Tatangelo said. “All of (IM’s) girls played very well and I am pleased with all of their performances.”

Mattson also sees potential in tennis rookies Janaya Newton and Kaysa Gollakner, who fell 6-1, 6-0 to Olivia Berutti and Katelyn Charette.

“That’s quite a matchup, two girls who just started playing a few weeks ago against two seniors, so they have some real possibilities,” Mattson said.

Gwinn was set to host Munising this morning before also hosting Negaunee on Tuesday morning.

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Ishpeming 8, Gwinn 0

At Gwinn on Monday, the Hematites breezed in six flights but had a much tougher time in the other two.

At No. 2 singles, Ishpeming’s Emma Bleau won 7-5, 6-1 over the Modeltowners’ Joleigh Martinez, while at No. 1 doubles, the Hematites’ Jadyn Andriacchi and Kassidy Pirkola came up with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Molly McCarthy and Raina Humphrey.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee with contributions from the Iron Mountain Daily News. Brownlee’s email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.