GLADSTONE — The Menominee girls tennis team went up against a very good Negaunee team on Wednesday in Gladstone, and the Maroons fell just short of a draw with the Miners, dropping the match 5-3.
With some players out due to sickness, Menominee had to do some adjusting to its lineup as Pearl Wellens stepped in to the No. 4 singles spot, Jada VanBeek slid into No. 2 doubles opposite Emma Anderson and Makenzie Wellner and Bella LaVia teamed up for the first time this year at No. 4 doubles.
LaVia and Wellner were the only ones to secure a win despite faltering in the first set, defeating Faith Mager and Daylyn Drew 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Wellens played her No. 4 singles match tough, but with not much varsity experience her nerves got to her early on and she dropped her match 6-0, 6-1 to Annika Tervo.
Also playing together for the first was Anderson and VanBeek, and the duo came close to taking the match from Tianna and Shayla Williams, but Negaunee came out on top 6-4, 6-4.
“Pearl played very well today once she got the nerves out. She settled down and played very well,” Menominee coach Nikki Mathieu said. “Emma and Jada just needed a little bit more time in their match but they came up just short, and I thought Bella and Makenzie played amazing together. They talked and tweaked their game and took home the win. I love how I’m able to adjust our girls to pretty much any spot and they can play it. They work so hard and are great at making adjustments.”
One of the other wins for Menominee came from Jenna Nolde at No. 1 singles, who trounced Lilly Nelson 6-2, 6-4 to keep her undefeated streak alive.
At No. 2 singles, Josie Hofer was in the midst of a three-plus hour match before she started cramping up and was forced to retire, giving a 7-6, 3-6, 6-5 win to Jillian Skewis.
“Nolde played her girl real tough today,” Mathieu said. “It took her a little bit to get it back going in the second set but she finished strong. With Josie, I was just happy she didn’t tear anything. She played her heart out for as long as she could and that’s all I can ask.”
The last Menominee win came at No. 3 doubles as Kennedy Olson and Anna Nerat took down the duo of Emma Miller and Madi Austin 6-0, 0-6, 6-4.
After a tough showing earlier in the week, the No. 1 doubles team of Abbie Anglehart and Meghan Francour looked much better in a 4-6, 1-6 loss to Morgan Carlson and Katelyn Lammi, and at No. 3 singles Erin Barrette was “just a few tweaks away” according to Mathieu in a 6-4, 6-3 loss to Lexi Mason.
“I’m happy with how hard we played against a very good team today,” Mathieu said. “Negaunee’s coach said to me after the match we are really in for a superb matchup for U.P.’s in Negaunee and I know we’re very excited to see them again.”
Menominee is back in action on Monday at home against Iron Mountain and will travel to Escanaba on Tuesday.
No. 1 — Nolde (M) def. Nelson 6-2, 6-4; No. 2 — Skewis (N) def. Hofer 7-6, 3-6, 6-5 (forfeit); No. 3 — Mason (N) def. Barrette 6-4, 6-3; No. 4 — Tervo (N) def. Wellens (M) 6-0, 6-1.
No. 1 — Carlson & Lammi (N) def. Anglehart & Francour 6-4, 6-1; No. 2 — T.Williams & S. Williams (N) def. Anderson & VanBeek 6-4, 6-4; No. 3 — Nerat & Olson (M) def. Miller & Austin 6-0, 0-6, 6-3; No. 4 — Wellner & LaVia (M) def. Mager & Drew 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.