Area Tennis: Patriots clip Wolverines to remain undefeated
PEQUOT LAKES — The Pequot Lakes Patriots took care of business to move to 9-0 Tuesday, Sept. 29, defeating the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines 7-0.
“I was really pleased with the doubles play,” Patriots head coach Monica Sergent said. “Their strategy, as far as when it was our serve, they worked well together to set up the net person to put away the volleys at the net.”
Pequot’s No. 1 doubles team of Afton Crocker-Morgan Lueck beat Nevada Schulz-Katiehae Fiemeyer 6-2, 6-4 to give the Patriots a sweep in the doubles matches.
“I think when we play together, our chemistry is what helps us along,” Lueck said. “Especially when we are having a rough game, coming back and getting a win. It takes a team.”
Sergent mentioned her No. 1 doubles team always stays positive.
“Besides being good role models for everyone else they have a tough spot to play on the team,” Sergent said. “That No. 1 doubles spot is competitive no matter what the other team’s record is. They have to be ready to play their best every match.”
Crocker said Lueck and her are friends off the court which helps their chemistry. Their record after winning against WDC is 7-2 with their only losses being to Virginia and Staples-Motley.
“We just know our strengths and weaknesses,” Crocker said. “How to work together and it really helps our game.”
Crocker said a big improvement they made to their game last year was she became better in the back.
“We are always working on our weaknesses,” she said. “Making sure my groundstrokes are going in and then playing our team in practice and switching up those teams that helps us a lot.”
Sergent likes the leadership that Crocker and Lueck have brought as well.
“They just show a lot of self-confidence both on and off the court,” Sergent said. “They make the other players feel like they can do this.”
In a normal season, the Patriots would have 28 regular-season matches before sections. This year, they will have 11. For a team that finished fourth in the Class 1A state tournament last year, Pequot is thankful to be playing tennis.
The Minnesota State High School League will make a decision on fall state tournaments during their scheduled meeting Thursday, Oct. 1.
“Having a postseason means a lot,” Leuck said. “We are just taking it one game at a time. We are really fortunate we even got a season this year. I think our team has just decided that we are going to make every game count and we are really looking forward to a postseason.”
Crocker agrees: “We are hoping for that state tournament and getting that section is good enough for us. As long as we got to play, that's good enough for us.”
The closest match was at No. 4 singles where WDC freshman Genevieve Pinnella battled Pequot’s Maci Martini to a 6-3, 7-5 score.
The last match to finish was at No. 1 singles where Patriots' junior Megan Muller finished off WDC junior Madison Packer 6-2, 6-2.
Packer was able to have long rallies with Muller, who finished fourth in the Class 1A state singles tournament last year.
“I thought the singles players stayed patient,” Sergent said. “And kept their opponents deep in the backcourt, which we have really been working on.”
Despite the loss WDC head coach Jordan Cresap was impressed with Packer’s performance.
“She just continues to impress,” he said. “Muller hits the ball really hard and consistent at the same time and they had extremely long rallies. Maddie never gave up and played until the final point.”
WDC wore orange shirts to honor Jane Fiemeyer — the sister of No. 3 doubles player Anna Fiemeyer and No. 1 doubles player Katiehae Fiemeyer.
Jane Fiemeyer died of Leukemia in 2012 and the orange shirts the Wolverines wore Tuesday honored her. It was the first time all year WDC wore orange.
Cresap knew it would be an uphill battle for his team playing Pequot Lakes, but he liked the way his team competed.
“There were a lot of good things to takeaway from today,” Cresap said. “Throughout the lineup I thought we competed really well and that’s all we could ask for against a tough team in Pequot.”
Junior Carly Chaney won for Pequot at No. 2 singles 6-0, 6-0 and junior Riley Fogarty won at No. 3 singles 6-0, 6-1.
The sophomore doubles team of Kelbee Lampi-Quinn Trottier won at No. 2 doubles 6-3, 6-1 and Allyson Yahn-Payton Mudgett won at No. 3 doubles 6-2, 6-1.
Both teams will finish up their regular season Thursday, Oct. 1, before heading to sections.
“We hope to be healthy,” Sergent said of going into the postseason. “We hope to do well and we try to take things one match at a time. You can’t overlook anyone because every team makes improvements over the season.”
Pequot Lakes 7, Wadena-Deer Creek 0
No. 1: Megan Muller (PL) def. Madison Packer 6-2, 6-2
No. 2: Carly Chaney (PL) def. Corra Endres 6-0, 6-0
No. 3: Riley Fogarty (PL) def. Libby Hartman 6-0, 6-1
No. 4: Maci Martini (PL) def. Genevieve Pinnella 6-3, 7-5
No. 1: Afton Crocker-Morgan Lueck (PL) def. Nevada Schulz-Katiehae Fiemeyer 6-2, 6-4
No. 2: Kelbee Lampi-Quinn Trottier (PL) def. Kayla Meeks-Mercedes Schulz 6-3, 6-1
No. 3: Allyson Yahn-Payton Mudgett (PL) def. Madelyn Gallant-Anna Fiemeyer
Pequot Lakes 7, Wadena-Deer Creek 0
Key: Patriots sweep Wolverines to remain undefeated
Overall: PL 9-0, WDC 3-8.
Next: Pequot Lakes hosts Park Rapids 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1; Wadena-Deer Creek at Perham 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1.
CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/the_rad34.