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Kingsford Invitational split into two tri-meets

Mountaineers’ Morel wins two matches, including three-hour marathon versus Menominee foe

(Matt McCarthy/Daily News photos) Iron Mountain No. 3 singles player Callie Bianco won two matches in consecutive days — on Thursday at Westwood High School and Friday at the City Park Courts in Iron Mountain. Here, she returns the ball to Menominee opponent Makenzie Wellner on Friday morning.

By MATT “SWEETS” McCARTHY

Sports Writer

KINGSFORD — The annual Kingsford Invitational girls tennis meet had a different format to it Friday, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Kingsford was set to host Westwood, West Iron County, Escanaba, Menominee and cross town rival Iron Mountain.

Instead, Kingsford athletic director Chris Hartman split the event up into two tri-meets. Kingsford hosted Westwood and Escanaba, while Iron Mountain hosted West Iron and Menominee. The Mountaineers used their usual trio of courts, the East Side Courts, the City Park Courts and the 25 Location Courts on the city’s west side.

At the Kingsford High School Tennis Facility, the host Flivvers and head coach Tracy Rutter dropped their pair of matches to Westwood 7-1, and to the Lady Eskymos of Escanaba 5-3. Kingsford was led by their No. 1 doubles duo of Teagan Petchar and Lizzy Cross, who won both of their matches on the day.

Iron Mountain No. 2 singles player Arianna Morel awaits the ball in a match versus Josie Hofer of Menominee at the East Side Tennis Courts in Iron Mountain Friday morning. Morel defeated Hofer in a match that went over three hours.

“Although the scores don’t reflect it, the girls all played strong against Westwood,” Rutter said. “Teagan and Lizzy dominated their match versus Escanaba and played well against Westwood.”

Rutter noted that versus Escanaba both the Kingsford No. 2 and No. 3 doubles teams battled back, but came up short in tie breaker sets. “I am proud of those two teams for their effort,” Rutter added.

Karlee Hulkkonen at No. 3 singles for the Flivvers picking up a win versus Escanaba was also noted by Rutter. Kingsford travels to Marquette on Monday and to Escanaba on Tuesday for Great Northern Conference action.

Across town in Iron Mountain, the host Lady Mountaineers defeated West Iron 6-2, but were defeated by Menominee 5-3. Menominee also defeated West Iron by the same 5-3 margin.

First year Iron Mountain coach Marcus Celello takes over the program from Sharon Ducat, who stepped down after last season. “I’m proud of the way the girls have battled to start this unprecedented season. From the beginning of the season, we have stressed the importance of culture and conditioning,” said Celello.

Celello noted that Elle Lofholm, Aziza Burgoon, and Bella Brown have all played 4 singles and 1 doubles this year, each picking up wins. Celello also noted they have a team-first mentality, which is imperative to have a successful season.

“As for conditioning, Arianna Morel put on an outstanding display today-first with a three-hour marathon match against Josie Hofer of Menominee, then a short time later she battled through some tough weather to pull out another win against Kali Applin of West Iron,” Celello said.

Both Morel and Hofer were exhausted after their match that lasted a little over three hours.

“Saying I’m proud of all 15 of our girls would be an understatement. They’ve responded well to adversity, which is a true testament to their competitiveness and character,” added Celello.

West Iron’s two wins versus the Mountaineers were at No. 4 singles, where freshman Brynlee Nodurft defeated Aziza Burgoon. The Wykons No. 1 doubles team of Madison Berutti and Tori Bociek defeated Bella Brown and Elle Lofholm.

“This was our second match of the day and it showed late in the match as our footwork was sloppy. Give credit to Iron Mountain, they played a solid match and showed us we need to keep our focus and try to improve to catch them, said West Iron coach Joe Serbentas.

“Overall there were some close sets and hopefully later in the year we will learn to finish games in our favor,” Serbentas added. The Lady Wykons host Negaunee on Monday at Nelson Field Tennis Courts in Stambaugh.

In West Iron’s first match of the day, they were defeated by Menominee.

“They were a tough matchup for us, they are a very good team,” Serbentas said. “I thought we played some really nice points in the 3 and 4 singles matches.”

Serbentas also noted that overall, the team has a lot of work to do on doubles strategy.

“We have very inexperienced doubles players and it will take time to improve and settle in this season. Tori and Madison continue to play with poise and find ways to pull out close games,” said Serbentas.

Iron Mountain hosts Norway on Thursday, in a dual recently added to both teams’ schedules.

Scoreboard:

Menominee 5, West Iron 3

Singles:

No. 1 – Jenna Nolde, M def. Livea Mazurek, WIC, 6-2, 6-0. No. 2 – Josie Hofer, M def. Kali Applin, WIC, 6-3, 6-1. No. 3 – Aurora Dahl, WIC def. Makenzie Wellner, M, 6-3, 6-1.

No. 4 – Brynlee Nodurft, WIC def. Lola Doyle, M, 6-4, 6-2.

Doubles:

No. 1 – Tori Bociek- Madison Berutti, WIC def. Abbie Anglehart-Meghan Francour, M, 7-6 (8), 6-3. No. 2 – Emma Anderson- Rylee Doyle, M def. Katarina Hemeleski-Aubrey Bice, WIC, 6-0, 6-0. No. 3 – Anna Nerat- Kennedy Olson, M def. Hailee Bradshaw- Autumn Smith, WIC, 6-0, 6-0. No. 4 – Bella Lavia- Jada Vanbeek, M def. Bailey Hoffart- Taylor Bett, WIC, 6-0, 6-0.

Menominee 5, Iron Mountain 3

Singles: No 1. Jenna Nolde, M, def. Claire Mongrain, IM, 6-2, 6-2. No. 2 Arianna Morel, IM, def. Josie Hofer, M, 7-5, 7-6 (11-9), 10-7. No. 3 Callie Bianco, IM, def. Makenzie Wellner, M, 6-0 6-2. No. 4 Elle Lofholm, IM, def. Pearl Wellens, M, 6-0, 6-1.

Doubles: No. 1 Abbie Anglehart-Maghan Francor, M, def. Bella Brown-Aziza Burgoon, IM, 6-1, 6-1. No. 2 Emma Anderson-Rylee Doyle, M, def. Danika Juul-Natalia Brown, IM, 6-1, 6-2. No. 3 Anna Nerat-Kennedy Olson, M, def. Rediet Husing-Anja Kleiman, IM, 6-1, 6-2. No. 4 Bella Lavia-Jada Vanbeek, M, def. Anika Cameron-Emma Axberg, IM, 6-1, 6-0.

Iron Mountain 6, West Iron 2

Singles:

No. 1. Claire Mongrain, IM, def. Livea Mazurek, WIC, 6-4, 6-1. No. 2. Arianna Morel, IM, def. Kali Applin, WIC, 6-3, 7-5. No. 3 Callie Bianco, IM, def. Aurora Dahl, WIC, 6-1, 6-3. No. 4 Brynlee Nodurft, WIC, def. Aziza Burgoon, IM, 4-6, 6-4, 10-7.

Doubles:

No. 1 Tori Bociek-Madison Berutti, WIC def. Bella Brown-Elle Lofholm, IM, 6-0, 6-0. No. 2 Danika Juul-Natalia Brown, IM, def. Katarina Hemeleski-Aubrey Bice, WIC, 6-0, 6-4. No. 3 Rediet Husing-Anja Kleiman, IM, def. Hailee Bradshaw-Autumn Smith, WIC, 6-1, 6-3.

No. 4 Emma Axberg-Kensie St. John, IM, def. Bailey Hoffart-Taylor Bett, WIC, 6-4, 7-6.

Escanaba 5, Kingsford 3

Singles: No. 1 Jacey Moreau, E, def. Maegan Dooley, K, 6-2, 6-1. No. 2 Sophia Derkos, E, def. Maggie Menghini, K, 6-0, 6-1. No. 3 Karlee Hulkkonen, K, def. Uriah Penegor, E 6-1, 6-2. No. 4 Amanda Beem, E, def. Ashley Demay, K, 6-1, 6-1.

Doubles: No. 1 Teagan Petchar-Lizzy Cross, K, def. Gracie Wickham-Abby Hill, E, 6-2, 6-1. No. 2 Erica Moore-Delaney McIntyre, E, def. Liz Penegor-Jenna Olkkonen, K, 2-6, 6-1, (10-8). No. 3 Lila Hughes-McKenna Buller, E, def. Brooke Bittnger-Macy Holmes, K, 4-6, 6-4, (10-5). No. 4 Paige Janoshek-Ashlyn Blaskowski, K, def. Sam Manninen-Leslie Purcell, E, 7-5, 6-4.

Westwood 7, Kingsford 1

Singles: No. 1 Jenna Wealton, WW, def. Maegan Dooley, K, 6-0, 6-0. No. 2 Jillian Koski WW, def. Maggie Menghini, K, 6-0, 6-0. No. 3 Hannah Mattila WW, def. Karlee Hulkkonen, K, 7-5, 6-3. No. 4 Mallory Leece, WW, def. Ashley Demay, K, 6-3, 6-1.

Doubles: No. 1 Teagan Petchar-Lizzy Cross, K, def. Ellie Miller-Avery Mariuzza, WW, 6-3, 2-6, (10-4). No. 2 Claire Gilles-Natalie Prophet, WW, def. Liz Penegor-Jenna Olkkonen, K, 4-6, 6-1, (12-10). No. 3 Allison Korpi-Lindsay Williams, WW, def. Brooke Bittnger-Macy Holmes, K, 6-3, 6-3, (10-5). No. 4 Natale Blanck-Kalle Keranen, WW def. Paige Janoshek-Ashlyn Blaskowski, K, 6-0, 6-0.

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