By CRAIG REMSBURG
For The Daily News
MARQUETTE - It put five flights into the championship round Wednesday at the Upper Peninsula Division 1 Finals.
Kingsford collected three girls tennis tournament titles this fall. Coach Mark Shanks’ Flivvers captured the Kingsford Invitational and Great Northern Conference along with sharing the U.P. Division 1 championship Wednesday. The Flivvers front row, from left: Anna Shanks, Courtney Qualley. Santina Bianco, Sam Fleming, Kelsey Bennett, Megan VanPembrook and Jaelyn Jennings. Back row: Michelle Scheibe, Kate Lamy, Taylor Jacobson, Janay Walters, Ali VanRemortel, Hannah Tresedder and Abby Johnson.
The Negaunee High School girls tennis team won three of them.
It was just enough.
The Miners of head coach Kyle Saari tied Kingsford for a share of the U.P. title, each compiling 14 points in action largely held at Marquette's Shiras Courts. Escanaba placed third with 11 points.
"(Kingsford) beat us 6-2 in a dual earlier and our girls were hungry," said Saari. "It has been a goal for them the last coupe of years.
"Kingsford was the favorite coming in. We knew for us to have a shot (at the crown), we had to have something happen that didn't during the season."
He said his No. 3 (Kylee Taavola and Jordyn LaFreniere) and No. 4 (Sarah Paquette and Kassy Harsila) doubles units sparked the Miners' title tie.
"No. 4 did a tremendous job just getting to the finals (before losing). We didn't expect that. And No. 3 wound up getting a U.P. title.
"Those two flights really got us in the position to tie."
So did Allison Carlson at No. 2 singles and Kayla Hakala at No. 3. Both ended the season with a U.P. championship.
"I was hoping to get (a title) in my high school career," said Carlson, a sophomore. "I was pretty consistent overall. I hit a variety of shots well.
"My ground strokes and my serves were good in the last match."
Saari said Carlson "put together a complete day" at the finals.
"This was probably the most positive Allison has ever been in her brief tennis career," he added. "She has become more mentally strong this season."
For the Miners to gain a title tie, Escanaba had to beat Kingsford opponents in the final two matches of the day, at No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles.
The Eskymos did just that.
Codi Jenshak won her second straight U.P. championship at No. 1 singles, while Escanaba teammates Braedyn Bosilovatz and Cathryn Wood won at No. 1 doubles.
"It's surreal, everything I've wished for," Jenshak said after a 6-1, 6-2 win over Kingsford's Sam Fleming. "It's also bittersweet, as this was my last high school match. But I'm glad I could end it like this.
"I just tried to keep the ball in the court, run and get as many shots as I could."
Bosilovatz and Wood defeated the Flivvers' Anna Shanks and Kate Lamy, 6-3, 6-3.
"It's the first time we've beaten (Shanks and Lamy) in two sets," Wood said. "It has always been in three before. But our volleys at the net were good, and we were good at focusing and hitting the corners."
For Kingsford head coach Mark Shanks and his Flivvers, it was a missed opportunity to come home an undisputed champion.
"Negaunee had a really good day. They were better than they had been against us all year," he said. "We had a mediocre day.
"My top-seeded No. 4 doubles taking a zero was the biggest factor for us. To have the No. 1 seed, get the bye and then not win your first round, it stings some."
The Flivvers still came out with champions at No. 4 singles (Santina Bianco) and No. 2 doubles (Janay Walters and Ali VanRemortel) after putting six flights into the finals.
(Craig Remsburg is with The Mining Journal of Marquette)
Team scores: 1. Negaunee and Kingsford (tie), 14; 3. Escanaba, 11; 4. Marquette, 9; 5. Gladstone, 3; 6. Menominee, 1
SINGLES: No. 1, CodI Jenshak (E) def. Sam Fleming (K), 6-1, 6-2; No. 2, Allison Carlson (N) def. Hannah Tresedder (K), 6-1, 6-3; No. 3, Kayla Hakala (N) def. Michelle Scheibe (K), 6-0, 6-0; No. 4, Santina Bianco (K) def. Dana DeBretto (N), 6-1, 6-4.
DOUBLES: No. 1, Braedyn Bosilovatz/Cathryn Wood, (E) def. Anna Shanks/Kate Lamy (K), 6-3, 6-3; No. 2, Janay Walters/Ali VanRemortel (K) def. Laura Slavsky/Madalyne Connon (MQT), 2-6, 6-4, 6-4; No. 3, Kylee Taavola/Jordyn LaFreniere (N) def. Taylor Rovin/Brianna Buhl (MQT), 6-4, 6-3; No. 4, Shelby Gregoire/Olivia Berquist (E) def. Sarah Paquette/Kassy Harsila (N), 6-3, 6-0.