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Westwood splits pair of 8-0 boys tennis decisions

ISHPEMING — It was all or nothing for the Westwood High School boys tennis team on Monday.

The Patriots whitewashed Gladstone 8-0 while also getting blanked by undefeated Negaunee with the same 8-0 score.

Just to keep the 8-0 theme going, that’s now the Miners record, according to coach Kyle Saari.

Both teams were scheduled to be at home this afternoon, Westwood hosting Iron Mountain while Negaunee was to entertain Gladstone.

Both teams keep up a busy schedule the rest of this week, too. Westwood hosts Gwinn on Wednesday and Escanaba on Thursday, while Negaunee is at Marquette today before taking part in the Kingsford Invitational on Saturday morning.

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Negaunee 8, Westwood 0

At Negaunee, the Miners won every match in straight sets and only dropped five games in the four singles flights.

Doubles proved the most competitive, with Negaunee’s Nick Jacobetti and Preston Toutant winning at No. 1, 6-3, 6-3, over Garrett Mann and Ryan LaFountain.

At No. 2, Gavin Saunders and James Thomson prevailed 6-4, 6-3 over Tony Misale and Bob Papp, then at No. 3, Jace Turri and Gavin Jacobson slipped by with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Zak Senske and Gabe Tossava.

“Nick and Preston had a good start to the week,” Saari said of his No. 1 doubles pair. “They had a sluggish start last week, and they were energized to get going again. They did a nice job (Monday).

“Saunders and Thomson are close friends and have chemistry within our doubles lineup,” the coach said of his No. 2 doubles tandem. “They have a chance to grow together throughout the rest of the year and it’ll be exciting to see where they’re at in a few weeks.”

He was pleased with his whole team’s attitude.

“Every week is busy in spring sports and you have to learn on the fly,” Saari said. “There isn’t time for youth or inexperience to be an excuse, so we’re learning how to motivate day in and day out to try to lessen the learning curve.

“They’re a real coachable group that wants to keep getting better.”

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Westwood 8, Gladstone 0

At Ishpeming, while both No. 4 flights were defaulted to the Patriots, they had to survive three-setters in a trio of other matches.

No. 2 singles player Andrew Niemi held off Gladstone’s Peter Noblet 6-3, 3-6, 6-0.

WHS coach Chris Jackson was pleased with Niemi and No. 1 singles player Bryce Markham, who swept past Rane Castor 7-5, 6-0.

“Bryce and Andrew have moved their way up the lineup. It is not easy to play in the No. 1 and No. 2 singles spots. They both showed (Monday) that they are doing good things and getting better every day.”

In doubles, Mann and LaFountain paired at No. 1 for a 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 squeaker over the Braves’ Carter Hedman and Sean Siler, while the Pats’ Senske and Tossava joined up at No. 3 for a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 victory over Isaac Berthaume and Zach Brazeau.

The one straight-sets doubles victory was posted by Misale and Papp at No. 2, 6-4, 6-2 over Dragan Graham and Chad Britton.

A similar two-setter was also posted by Westwood No. 3 singles player Chase Prophet with a 7-5, 6-1 win over Sam Jensen.

“Bob and Tony (at No. 2 doubles) had a very good day (Monday), starting with a solid win over Gladstone and finishing with a great effort against Negaunee,” Jackson said.

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Marquette 7, Kingsford 1

At Kingsford on Monday, the Redmen improved to 3-0 with an especially dominant performance in singles, where four MSHS players lost just one game between them.

No. 1 Nick Olivier, No. 3 Beau Belkowski and No. 4 Jason Andary each won 6-0, 6-0, while No. 2 Connor Johnson “struggled” to a 6-0, 6-1 victory.

“We have just four experienced players back, but our other guys are doing well, too,” Marquette head coach Charlie Drury said.

The Redmen’s toughest win came at No. 2 doubles, where Ray Modell and Toby Camilli held off the Flivvers’ Ben Trevillian and Charlie Christensen 6-3, 6-7, 7-6.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.

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