Cruising to victories

Marquette, Negaunee girls netters earn wins

Marquette’s Kennedy Tate returns the ball during a singles match against Westwood Wednesday morning, August 22, 2018 at Westwood High School. (Journal photo by Corey Kelly)

ISHPEMING — The Marquette girls tennis team appeared to have a tough task ahead of it Wednesday as the Redettes took on a Westwood program that has been dominant the last few years, winning multiple MHSAA Division 2 U.P. titles.

However, it ended up being a fairly quick day for the Redettes as they took down the Patriots 6-2 and won three of the four singles matches.

In the singles competitions, Marquette’s Elysa Olivier (No. 1), Kennedy Tate (No. 3) and Campbell Kallio (No. 4) each picked up two-set victories. Westwood’s lone win was in the No. 2 match where Tessa Leece defeated Mollie Kilpela 6-1, 6-3.

“Tessa played very well today,” Patriots head coach Chris Jackson said. “She is very consistent and keeps adding to her game.”

Over on the doubles side, Marquette earned two-set wins in the No. 1 and No. 4 matches, but had to gut out a victory at No. 3 as the Redettes’ tandem of Ryleigh Jackson and Bre Sandstrom outlasted Westwood’s Meghan Johnson and Ellie Miller in three sets. Marquette lost the first frame 6-3, but bounced back to take the next two 6-2, 6-2.

The Patriots earned a win at No. 2 doubles as Karlie Patron and Katelyn Anttila defeated Marquette’s Carly Sandstrom and Natalie Robinia 6-0, 6-1.

“Karlie and Katelyn played the best I’ve seen them play this year,” Jackson said. “Their styles of play complement each other and they put a lot of pressure on their opponents.”

The Patriots (4-2) will host the Westwood Invitational this morning at 10 am. with the finals probably taking place around 2 pm. Marquette and Negaunee will also compete at the tournament.

Negaunee 7, Gladstone 1

At Gladstone, the Miners stayed undefeated as they breezed past the Braves on the road.

Negaunee (4-0) won all four singles matches including a hard-fought win from Abby Nelson at the number one spot. Nelson defeated Gladstone’s Andie Balenger 7-6, 7-6.

“Abby did a great job closing out two tiebreakers in her match,” Miners head coach Kyle Saari said. “She’s only played two weeks of competitive singles in her life, although she’s played three years of varsity. It’s important to learn how to win close matches early.”

Maci Aho (No. 2), Jillian Skewis (No. 3) and Lilly Nelson (No. 4) won the other singles matches for Negaunee.

In the double matches, Negaunee didn’t have much trouble in the numbers two, three and four matches as it took each of them in two sets. Saari was especially impressed with the No. 2 twosome of Lexi Taavola and Shelby Yesney and said they have “good chemistry.”

Gladstone won the No. 1 doubles match when Taylor Trudeau and Sydney Herioux outlasted the Miners’ Mykenna Konio and Julia Johnson in three sets.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Ryan Stieg. His email address is