ISHPEMING – Westwood won and tied in a pair of high school boys tennis matches at home on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Patriots defeated Munising 7-1 Tuesday before settling for a 4-4 tie with Iron Mountain on Wednesday. Westwood (6-4-1) also had another home match set for Thursday against Marquette.
On Tuesday, the Pats swept the singles matches without dropping a set against the Mustangs, while WHS won three of four at doubles, one of the wins going three sets.
“We play four matches and a tournament over the course of six days this week,” Westwood head coach Sarah Massie said. “It’s important for the guys to use these matches to continually improve because practices are few and far between.”
The Pats’ No. 1 doubles pairing of Ryan Lafountain and Chase Prophet pulled out a 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 win over Munising’s Alex VanZandt and Lucas Westcomb.
“There were some close sets and some battles that took place, including at No. 1 doubles,” Massie said. “I was happy to see Ryan and Chase be pushed and be able to make the necessary adjustments to win the third set.”
Munising got its win at No. 2 doubles, where Jesse Duran and Carson Kienitz took down Gabe Tossava and Nick Salzwedel 6-1, 6-3.
Wednesday’s tie was a study in contrasts, since Westwood swept all four doubles matches without dropping a set, while the Mountaineers did nearly as well at singles, winning all four of those matches with just one going three sets.
“Both of our teams were missing a few of our regular players, so it was a good opportunity for some of our top JV players to get some varsity experience,” Massie said. “It’s been fun to see how much the guys have improved over the last few weeks and especially to see our freshman enjoy playing and trying a new sport.”
The Patriots’ doubles was led at No. 1, where Prophet and Lafountain downed Gerald Sampol and Evan Copley 6-1, 6-0.
Also winning were WHS ‘No. 2 duo of Gabe Tossava and Nick Salzwedel, No. 3 tandem of Senske and Tristan Miller and No. 4 pairing of Reid Frustaglio and Jaxson Alderton.
Westwood put up its best fight in singles at No. 3, where IM’s Kaden Sheldon pulled out a 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over the Pats’ Mason Hieitikko.
Munising 6, Ishpeming 2
On Wednesday at Ishpeming, the Mustangs won three singles and three doubles flights. Each team won a three-set match, too.
The three-setters included Munising No. 3 singles player Cole Whitehead defeating the Hematites ‘Mason Bancroft, and Ishpeming’s No. 4 doubles pairing of Tramon Gauthier and Luke Laitinen downing the Maroons’ Dimetri Balko and Scout Linsenman. Correct scores weren’t reported for those matches, though it was indicated they went three sets.
Munising also got straight-sets wins in singles from No. 1 Taylor Borowski and No. 4 Michael Robinson II and in doubles from No. 1 VanZandt and Whitcomb, No. 2 Duran and Kienitz and No. 3 Danny Goss and Aidan Gumz.
Ishpeming’s other win was in two sets by Ryan Maki at No. 2 singles.
Negaunee 7, Iron Mountain 1
On Wednesday at Negaunee, the Miners dominated at every flight but No. 1 singles, dropping just 13 games in the seven flights they won.
But IM’s David Juul pulled out a three-set, 1-6, 7-5, 10-3 win over Negaunee’s Luke Syrjala at No. 1 singles.
One flight had a perfect “Shutout” score of 6-0, 6-0 in Negaunee’s favor – No. 2 singles player Gavin Saunders.
No other Miners flight lost more than five games, including the No. 3 doubles duo of Gavin Jacobson and Zack Brundage, who took a 6-2, 6-0 win over Dylan Lindgren and Cater Kassin.
“Our doubles have done a really nice job in particular this week,” Negaunee head coach Kyle Saari said. “They’ve given up very few games and have played much cleaner.
“Gavin and Zack have progressed and I’m excited to see how they play on Saturday.”
Saturday morning will be the Miners’ annual Negaunee Invitational featuring eight top-notch Upper Peninsula teams.
Marquette 8, West Iron County 0
On Wednesday at Marquette, the Redmen didn’t pull off the sweep until No. 3 singles player Brian Belkowski bounced back from a tough second set to defeat the Wykons’ Ethan Isaacson 6-1, 0-6, 6-1.
“Our doubles teams were much more aggressive, which is what we want them to be,” MSHS head coach Karl Thomsen said. “I was really pleased with Nathen Barsch today at No. 4 singles. Nathen’s confidence has been building, (on Wednesday) he finished his strokes, and the result was a great win. “
Barsch took a dominant 6-1, 6-0 victory over WIC’s James White.
One other Marquette victory came with a bit of extra effort, as No. 1 doubles players William Olivier and Matt Barsch won 6-0, 7-5 over the Wykons’ Colton Holm and Sam Holroyd.
None of the other Marquette winners lost more than four games in their matches.
Marquette 7, Menominee 1
On Tuesday at Marquette, Thomsen blamed coming off the high of the previous day when the Redmen tied what is generally regarded as the Upper Peninsula’s top team, Escanaba, 4-4.
“It was a so-so day on the courts (Tuesday),” the Marquette coach said. “We were coming off of an emotional and draining battle against Esky and it showed in some flights.
“We had a few mental lapses on the doubles side of things, but the positive was our kids held on for the wins.
“Chase Thomsen moved up and played No. 2 singles, which resulted in a big three-set win. Chase was happy with the way he waited for the points to develop compared to how he rushed things last week in his Negaunee match.
“There are definitely some things we need to clean up as we head towards tournament time.”
Thomsen had an up-and-down 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 win over Menominee’s Danny Birch, one of several tough matches MSHS pulled out.
Others included the No. 3 doubles pairing of Liam McFarren and Isaac Johnson winning 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (7-5) over the Maroons’ Kaiden Bell and Jonah Slawinski, the No. 2 doubles tandem of Keaton Ansell and Andrew King winning 6-3, 7-5 over Menominee’s Nathan Schultz and Connor Coduti, and the No. 4 doubles duo of Bodhi White and Holden Hutter getting a 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 win over the Maroons ‘Jeremy Salmi and Nathan Salmi.
The Redmen’s No. 1 singles player Nick Olivier, No. 3 singles player Brian Belkowski and No. 4 singles player Tristan Potila all won in straight sets without losing more than three games.
Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address of him is email@example.com.