By BURT ANGELI
KINGSFORD - Iron Mountain, led by No. 2 singles champion Katie Brule, wound up runner-up in the Mid-Peninsula Conference girls tennis tournament Monday.
Iron Mountain’s Laurie March (above) fell to defending champion Sarah Massie of Westwood in the Mid-Peninsula Conference girls tennis championships Monday. Massie prevailed 6-3, 6-1 in the No. 1 singles final.
Negaunee tallied 38 points to best Iron Mountain, 32; defending champion Westwood, 31; Ishpeming, 10, and Gwinn, 9. The Mountaineers advanced to six finals matches.
"We needed a couple more wins early on or in a final, and we could have pulled this one off," Mountaineer coach Greg Stegall said. "I'm sure everyone is disappointed to be close but come up short."
Brule downed top-seeded Allison Carlson of Negaunee 6-3, 6-4.
"She played solid tennis in extreme wind," said Stegall, noting Carlson defeated the freshman in a recent match. "It was nice to see her step up and win decisively."
The Miners, with a pair of singles and doubles honors, earned MPC team honors for the first time since 2006. Negaunee usually fares well in boys tennis.
"I think they got sick of the boys success," said a smiling Negaunee coach Kyle Saari. "They wanted something for themselves as well.
"It's a credit to them. They've got a year they can put on the banner."
Massie, in a rematch from last year's MPC No. 1 singles final, downed Iron Mountain's hard-hitting Laurie March 6-3, 6-1. Strong winds and cool temperatures affected play.
"One of the keys was handling the wind," Massie said. "It was pretty strong.
"I just tried to put pressure on her and basically play my game. She's improved a ton since the first time we played this season."
Massie's career shows two No. 1 singles medals along with Nos. 2 and 4.
Negaunee grabbed Nos. 3 and 4 singles from Iron Mountain freshmen, with Kayla Hakala spilling Olivia Truscott 6-1, 6-2 and Dana DeBretto clipping Emily Chang 6-1, 6-0.
Westwood's Kara Harrington-Alexis Forchini took No. 1 doubles by beating Iron Mountain's Sarah Pirkola-Katie Lusardi 6-4, 6-4. The Patriots also copped No. 4 doubles with Shana Caligari-Rachel Anderson outlasting Negaunee's Sara Paquette-Kassy Harsila 6-3, 5-7, 11-9 (tie-breaker for third set) in the final match of the day.
Negaunee's Nos. 2 and 3 doubles proved to be a surprise by upending top-seeded foes. Amanda Washnock-Jessa Johnson edged Westwood's Taryn Moyle-Katie Rankinen 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 and Kylee Taavola-Jordyn LaFreniere dispatched Iron Mountain's Kate and Emily Bugni 6-2, 6-0.
"In any tournament situation you need some flights to come through that you don't expect," Saari said. "You can have a great season but you still need that to happen.
"Our number two doubles played extremely well and number three was another that we didn't necessarily expect."
Negaunee 38, Iron Mountain 32, Westwood 31, Ishpeming 10, Gwinn 9.
1. Sarah Massie, WW, def. Laurie March, IM, 6-3, 6-1; (Abbi Kill, Neg., consolation)
2. Katie Brule, IM, def. Allison Carlson, Neg, 6-3, 6-4 (Brooke Luokkala, Gwn)
3. Kayla Hakala, Neg, def. Olivia Truscott, IM, 6-1, 6-2 (Jaime Olson, Ish)
4. Dana DeBretto, Neg, def. Emily Chang, IM, 6-1, 6-0 (Courtney Beauchamp, WW).
1. Kara Harrington-Alexis Forchini, WW, def. Sarah Pirkola-Katie Lusardi, IM, 6-4, 6-4 (Ashley Anderson-Mandi Grasso, Neg)
2. Amanda Washnock-Jessa Johnson, Neg, def. Taryn Moyle-Katie Rankinen, WW, 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 (Ali Jastremski-Elli McCole, IM).
3. Kylee Taavola-Jordyn LaFreniere, Neg, def. Kate Bugni-Emily Bugni, IM, 6-2, 6-0 (Libbie Doney-Hailly Thompson, Ish).
4. Shana Caliguri-Rachel Anderson, WW, def. Sarah Paquette-Kassy Harsila, Neg, 6-3, 5-7, 11-9 (third-set tiebreaker) (Caity Tefft-Alyssa Hood, IM).