Still riding high: Coming off back-to-back Upper Peninsula girls tennis titles, Munising blanks Gwinn

Munising’s Marissa Ackerman plays a No. 1 singles match in a high school girls tennis meet at Gwinn on Wednesday morning. (Journal photo by Rachel Oakley)

Up next:

• Munising at Ishpeming, 11 a.m. Tuesday

• Negaunee at Gwinn, 11 a.m. Tuesday

————–

GWINN — The Munising High School girls tennis team built some momentum with an 8-0 sweep at Gwinn on Wednesday.

Munising head coach Rod Gendron said leadership is an important asset to having success.

“We have the Ackerman twins, who were (Upper Peninsula) champions last year and they’re great players and great kids,” Gendron said. “We benefit from having them on the team along with the seniors; they all provide a lot of leadership.”

The twins each won a singles matches in straight sets, with Marissa winning at No. 1 over Taylor Jancsi, 6-0, 6-1, while Kelsea at No. 2 defeated Joleigh Martinez 6-1, 6-1.

Kennedy Tate and Taylin Behning also picked up singles victories for the Mustangs.

In doubles, the Mustangs’ duo of Keira Stampfly and Taletha Witty defeated Molly McCarthy and Raina Humphrey 7-6, 6-1, with the first set being Gwinn’s closest of the day as the winners prevailed 7-5 in the tiebreaker.

Munising’s Lilly Gendron and Taylor Downs won at No. 2 doubles, 6-2, 6-0, over Megan Brinker and Kadie LaRock.

Adding wins were the Mustangs’ Chantelle Harger and Makayla McNally-Palmer at No. 3 and Abbie Hayes and Kaila Cotey at No. 4.

Rod Gendron said while the score showed an 8-0 sweep, Gwinn is still potentially strong opponent down the road.

“We’ve had a solid run here,” Gendron said. “We’ve been U.P. champions (in Division 2) the last two years, we’re a pretty experienced team and Gwinn has some good players; the more experience they get, they’re going to get better and better.”

Gwinn coach Darcia Mattson said that her team has a young group of players who improve and learn from each match.

“We’re in the learning experience,” Mattson said. “We’ve had a couple of tough matches but we keep earning more and more (winning) games as we go; so when you win more games, eventually we’ll be winning matches.”

Mattson added that an 8-0 sweep isn’t a blowout like some would make it out to be when looking at the box score.

“I think it’s unfortunate that when you get an 8-0 result, people don’t realize how well you played,” Mattson said. “We had a lot of deuces, a lot of great serves, some aces; so we’re a young team that’s getting better and better.”

Email Ryan Spitza at sports@miningjournal.net.