Area tennis players battle at annual 75th tourney

ESCANABA — Several area tennis players enjoyed the sweet taste of success this weekend by earning titles in the respective divisions at the 75th Annual Michigan-Wisconsin Open.

Escanaba junior Sophie Derkos earned the women’s Class A title in a 6-0, 6-0 triumph over Jordan Enright of Negaunee Saturday, then teamed with classmate Natalie Williams in gaining top honors in a 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 victory over Emma Miller and Morgan Carlson of Negaunee in the doubles final Sunday.

“Most of the time, we were able to get our shots in,” said Derkos, who will likely play No. 1 singles for the Eskymos this season. “There wasn’t much wind which helped for our overhead shots. We were staying positive. Tennis is such a mental game. This is helpful for going into the high school season. It was nice to get some matches in before the season.”

Williams hopes to play No. 1 doubles for the Eskymos, who open their season at Menominee on Aug. 18.

“We tried to keep the ball away from our opponents and kept it in play,” she said. “We wanted to make them match up with us. This is the first time I played in this tournament, and it was a lot of fun. I would like to come back here and play again. We played well. This was a good tune-up for the regular season.”

Dawson Williams of Escanaba topped Dave Guillard of Newberry 6-4, 6-2 for the men’s B title, and fellow Esky resident Sam Rivera defeated Yale Olivier of Marquette 6-3, 7-5 for the boys’ 16-18 crown.

Esky boys’ coach and tournament director Tom Penegor and Glenn Pearson of Gladstone outlasted former Lake Superior State College players (from the 1970s) Gerald Abbott-Bob Allen 4-6, 6-2, 10-7 in the 40 and over final.

“They were top players in college,” said Penegor, who also attended then LSSC in the 70s. “One reason why they came is because this was our 75th annual tournament. They knew this was a special event. They hadn’t played doubles together for 25 years, but they played well in this tournament. It was a competitive and fun match. The weather was perfect today. It was really hot and humid yesterday (Saturday).”

Holden Ross of Iron River rallied past Kace Lovejoy of Traverse City 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 for the No. 1 singles championship.

“That was a great match,” said Penegor. “That was best tennis we’ve seen here in a long time.”

Diane Amann and Lori Shea of Gladstone copped the women’s B title in a 6-1, 7-5 conquest of Michelle Cole and Sue Penegor of Escanaba, 6-1, 7-5.

In the men’s B final, Joe McDonnell of Marquette and Tony Cale, a teacher at Green Bay East High School, edged Dan Hawkins of Gaylord and Kelly Shea of Gladstone, 6-3, 4-6, 11-9.

McDonnell/Calo took a 4-2 lead in the second set on an overhead shot by Calo before Hawkins/Shea rallied to force the super tie-breaker.

“They definitely gained some momentum off the end of the second set,” said Cale, who played prep tennis at Kingsford in the 1980s. “This is the first time we’ve played doubles together. Without Joe, this wouldn’t have been possible.”

Marquette High School graduate McDonnell played the entire tourney despite turning his ankle early in Sunday’s first match.

“It didn’t hurt that much at first,” he said. “I hit the ball when I could, and Tony chased everything down. It was hot and humid yesterday (in the high 80s). There’s no way I could have played that much if it were that hot today.”

The tourney drew about 85 players.

“We had 12 people come up from Gaylord,” said Tom Penegor. “They have a nice tennis group down there, and it was nice to get them up here. We’re happy with the overall turnout. Next year we’ll shoot for 100. We had new courts installed here last year and got a lot of compliments on them. They’re in excellent shape. They offer more cushion than we had in the past.”

Brad and Christian Besonen of Ewen were among the first-time participants this weekend.

“They don’t have tennis up there but said they had fun,” said meet official Dennis Lueneburg.

Tournament results included the following:


Men’s A — Holden Ross, Iron River, def. Kace Lovejoy, Traverse City, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6.

Women’s A — Sophie Derkos, Escanaba, def. Jordan Enright, Negaunee, 6-0, 6-0.

Men’s B — Dawson Williams, Escanaba, def. Dave Guillard, Newberry, 6-4, 6-2.

Men’s 40-55 — Denny Krueser, Florida, def. John Mack, Johannesburg, Mich., 6-3, 6-0.

Boys’ 16-18 — Sam Rivera, Escanaba, def. Yale Olivier, Marquette, 6-3, 7-5.

Girls’ 16-18 — Sage Juntti, Negaunee, def. Sonya Maki, Escanaba, 6-1, 4-6, 10-6.


Women’s A — Natalie Williams/Sophie Derkos, Escanaba def. Morgan Carlson/Emma Miller, Negaunee, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1.

Men’s B — Joe McDonnell, Marquette/Tony Calo, Green Bay, def. Dan Hawkins, Gaylord/Kelly Shea, Gladstone, 6-3, 4-6, 11-9.

Women’s B — Diane Amann/Lori Shea, Gladstone, def. Michelle Cole/Sue Penegor, Escanaba, 6-1, 7-5.

Men’s 40 & over — Tom Penegor, Escanaba/Glenn Pearson, Gladstone, def. Gerald Abbott, Momence, Ill./Bob Allen, Lennon, Mich., 4-6, 6-2, 10-7.


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