Negaunee Miners open 2023-24 high school season for all area high school sports teams with 8-0 girls tennis victory over visiting West Iron County

NEGAUNEE — The top of Negaunee’s singles lineup faced the toughest challenges as the Miners girls tennis team opened not only its season, but all area teams in every fall sport on Monday afternoon.

Negaunee posted an 8-0 victory over visiting West Iron County, not dropping a set in the process.

“We had a very competitive week of challenge matches and that really helped prepare us to get ready for today,” Miners head coach Kyle Saari said in an email. “There’s a lot of experience within the lineup, and they all expect a lot of themselves and each other, so it’s a fun environment to be around.”

The toughest matches came at the top two flights in singles. At No. 1, Negaunee’s Aubrey Johnson fended off WIC’s Aubrey Bice 7-5, 6-3, while at No. 2, the Miners’ Lili Saunders came back in her tiebreaker to beat the Wykons’ Sienna Stine 6-1, 7-6 (8-6).

“Lili was down 2-6 in a tiebreak, but mentally it never affected her.” Saari said. “Our singles lineup has a lot of mental toughness, and she displayed it by winning six straight points (in the tiebreaker) to close her match out.”

He was also quite pleased with the progress displayed by his No. 1 doubles pairing of Kallen Schultz and Maddie Frustaglio, who posted a 6-1, 6-2 win over WIC’s Destiny Lemery and Olivia LaMay.

“Kallen and Maddie have had a great first six days,” their coach said. “They’re really growing together, both playing at a high level, and will only continue to get better.”

Beyond the Nos. 1 and 2 singles matches, the Miners lost a total of just 12 games in the other six matches.

Negaunee gets back in action at home against Westwood at 11 a.m. Wednesday as the Patriots have a match at 11 a.m. today at WIC.

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


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