ISHPEMING - They beat the rain Thursday, but they couldn't beat the Iron Mountain High School girls tennis team.
Playing their fourth match in three days, the Ishpeming Hematites dropped an 8-0 decision to the visiting Mountaineers in a contest suspended seven minutes due to a light sprinkle.
"We had a good effort out there. When (my players) got here (Thursday) morning, a lot of them were sore," Ishpeming coach Erl Langness said after his team had fallen to 1-4 on the young season.
"That's a lot of tennis. We need some time to recover."
Only one Ishpeming bout went to three sets, that at No. 4 singles where Mollie Pruett fell to I.M.'s Emily Chang, 6-1, 3-6, 10-4.
"Chang's a good player," Langness commented. "To go three sets against her is a good match."
The Mountaineers, with freshmen at 2,3 and 4 singles, as well as No. 4 doubles, improved to 5-1-1 on the season.
"Across the board, we got some good performances," Mountaineers' coach Greg Stegall said. "With five freshmen, they're playing beyond their years. They're showing a lot of maturity."
At No. 1 singles, Laurie March of IM downed Gabby Croley, 6-3, 6-1.
"I made a lot of mistakes and (Croley) is a good competitor," March said. "She hit it where I wasn't and she's quick.
"But I stayed consistent and waited for her to make mistakes. I also hit a lot of net shots well and my serve was pretty good."
Stegall said March is playing well against some tough competition.
"She has a good attitude," he said. "Win or lose, she walks away and tries to learn from it to get ready for her next match. She doesn't get down on herself.
"She has been working on her serve and has definitely improved there. Her confidence is better, too.
"She (also) changes her strategy depending on her opponent," Stegall added. "She's content to go deep if that's what it takes to win."
At No. 3 singles, the Mountaineers' Olivia Truscott outlasted Melanee Bess in one of the day's most contested bouts, 7-6 (5), 6-3.
Katie Lusardi and Sarah Pirkola of I.M. toppled Taylor Croley and Jordann Grigg at No. 1 doubles, 6-1, 6-1.
"Iron Mountain is a strong team," Langness said. "They have people back with experience in most matches."
SINGLES: No. 1, Laurie March (IM) def. Gabby Croley, 6-3, 6-1; No. 2, Katie Brule (IM) def. Jaime Olson, 6-2, 6-3; No. 3, Olivia Truscott (IM) def. Melanee Bess, 7-6 (5), 6-3; No. 4, Emily Chang (IM) def. Mollie Pruett, 6-1, 3-6, 10-4.
DOUBLES: No. 1, Katie Lusardi/Sarah Pirkola (IM) def. Taylor Croley/Jordann Grigg, 6-1, 6-1; No. 2, Alli Jastremski/Elli McCole (IM) def. Kori Faull/Krista Pellonpaa, 6-1, 6-2; No. 3, Allyssa Hood/Caity Tefft (IM) def. Libbie Doney/Lindsey Thompson, 7-5, 6-2; No. 4, Kate Bugni/Emily Bugni (IM) def. Krista Almli/Jennifer Uuro, 6-4, 6-2.