Negaunee Miners girls tennis team holds off Marquette Redettes’ challenge

NEGAUNEE — Negaunee stared down one of its toughest tests of the young high school girls tennis season on Monday, fending off Marquette 6-2 at the Miners’ courts.

Though the final score didn’t seem that close, the matches were, with a pair of them going three sets and none of the others having the blowouts typical of at least a few matches in just about any other meet.

“Matches like this are the type that allow you to improve, gain confidence and push you to continue developing your strengths,” Negaunee head coach Kyle Saari said after his team improved to a perfect 6-0. “At one point we trailed in seven of the eight matches, but we’re pleased with the mental toughness we showed to stick with it and grind it out.

“Six of eight matches had sets at 6-4 or tighter and it’s great experience.”

The closest thing to a one-sided match came at No. 1 singles, where the Redettes’ Kaia Miller defeated Negaunee’s Jordan Enright 6-3, 6-3.

The other match without a 6-4 set was actually one of the three-setters and Marquette’s other victory, a 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 win posted by the No. 4 doubles team of Delana Sprowl and Lyndsey Luke over the Miners’ Autumn Ring and Paityn Brunette.

The other three-setter came at No. 3 singles, where Negaunee’s Rheana Nelson outlasted Cecelia Jacuzzo 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3.

Another match that included a tiebreaker in one of the sets was at No. 2 singles, where the Miners’ Aubrey Johnson held off MSHS’ Annabella Martinson 6-1, 7-6 (7-2).

Saari also noted his No. 4 singles player Lilliana Saunders, who was a 6-4, 6-4 winner over Natalie Deneau.

“Rheana has shown a lot of grit so far this year,” the Negaunee coach said. “She trusted her game in a three-hour match.

“Aubrey played very well at (No.) 2 singles, and Lilliana continues to show her composure at (No.) 4 singles, too.”

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


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