Negaunee wins Westwood Invite

ISHPEMING — Eight teams ventured to Westwood High School on a beautiful, 80-degree Thursday afternoon for the Westwood Invitational tournament.

Negaunee won the team title with 53 points, followed by Marquette with 47, Westwood 46, West Iron County 44, Menominee 38, Kingsford 27, Gladstone 24 and Ironwood 9.

Unlike previous years, which featured a six-team, round-robin format, this year’s tournament was played in a “compass draw” format due to the two extra teams.

A compass draw divides all players into eight brackets, and each player plays three matches before being sent into the winner’s bracket or consolation bracket.

Once a player advanced to the winner’s bracket, semifinals and finals matches were played.

The Miners earned championship victories at Nos. 3 and 4 singles as well as Nos. 2 and 3 doubles, while coming in as runner-up at No. 4 doubles.

Negaunee head coach Kyle Saari said the competition was intense.

“This was one of the most competitive eight-team tournaments that I think we’ve been a part of,” he said. “We come in and we want to play to the best of our ability and with an eight-team tournament the emphasis is on winning your first-round matches.

“Our depth came through for us again today and it was enough to get us a win.”

One of the Miners’ wins in doubles came courtesy of Lexi Taavola and Shelby Yesney, who defeated WIC’s Emily Nelson and Anna Malmquist 6-4, 6-4 at No. 2.

Marquette’s Elyssa Olivier advanced to the finals at No. 1 singles before falling to West Iron’s Katrina Serbentas 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the longest finals match of the day.

For the host Patriots, Karlie Patron and Katelyn Anttila advanced to the final in No. 1 doubles, falling to WIC’s Eden Golliher and Tori Bociek, 4-6, 6-0, 7-5.

Westwood head coach Chris Jackson called the tournament a competitive success.

“Going into the day, I think everybody was looking forward to the competition,” he said. “It’s early in the year and as this tournament stands, it looks like we’ve got six of the best teams in the U.P. in it. We’ve got a mix of Division 2 teams and a mix of Division 1 teams. It’s interesting because there were a lot of first-round matches that were really close.”