NHS netters stay unbeaten

By Journal Sports Staff

ESCANABA — The Negaunee boys tennis team has been one of the best programs in the Upper Peninsula the past few seasons and the Miners are already off to a hot start this season.

After opening the year with an 8-0 win over Ishpeming earlier this week, the Miners took down Escanaba and Menominee Thursday afternoon, defeating both squads 8-0.

“Our 1’s and 2’s in particular had a strong day for this early in the year,” Negaunee head coach Kyle Saari said. “Jakson (Sager) and Drew (Lindberg) were real aggressive and if they keep that up, they’ll take a huge jump from even a year ago. It’s nice to get two positive results against teams we’ll compete with in the U.P.’s (Finals).

Even though the final scores may make it seem like the matches were lopsided, they were actually pretty competitive.

In the opening match against the Eskymos, the Miners’ Chas Kumpula (No. 1 singles) and Will Luke (No. 2) notched two set wins, but Peyton Anderson (No. 3) and Jordan Mason (No. 4) got a good fight from their opponents. Anderson dropped the first set to Esky’s Gunner Dlugas, but rallied to win the next two and take the match (4-6, 6-1, 6-3). Mason, on the other hand, won the first set, but lost the second. However, he bounced back and won the deciding third set (6-1, 1-6, 6-2).

On the doubles side, Sager and Lindberg cruised to a two set win in their No. 1 match as did Jake Larson and Erik Salminen (No. 2) and Nathan Brundage and Preston Toutant (No. 4). The No. 3 match was a good one though as Negaunee’s Tom Kinjorski and Max LaForais earned a tight two-set win over the Eskymos’ Nathan Lord and Ryan Moreau (7-6, 6-4).

In the match against Menominee, the Miners had an easy time on the singles side as Kumpula, Luke and Anderson all won in two sets. Mason also got a victory by forfeit.

The doubles matches went pretty smoothly as well as Negaunee won the No. 1, 2 and 4 matches in two sets. However, the No. 3 match was a dogfight. Kinjorski and Brayden Oglesby won the first set, but lost the second. In the deciding third set though, the Miners’ tandem outlasted the Maroons’ Aiden Belisle and Brady Schultz (6-0, 2-6, 7-6) to help Negaunee sweep all eight matches.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Ryan Stieg. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal.net.