Cloquet-Esko-Carlton tennis team defeated by Hermantown and Grand RapidsThe Cloquet-Esko-Carlton boys tennis team took on Hermantown and Grand Rapids in dual matches last week and found the going difficult.
By: Jeff Papas, Pine Journal
The Cloquet-Esko-Carlton boys tennis team took on Hermantown and Grand Rapids in dual matches last week and found the going difficult.
As a result, the team is on a bit of a low heading into next week’s section playoffs.
“We are a bit out of sync,” coach Steve Rickstrom said. “With the recent losses our guys are a little down in the dumps, but we plan on picking it up next Monday with a playoff win.”
On May 14, the Jacks lost 6-1 to the Hawks.
CEC’s victory came at first doubles where the all-senior team of Jake Sorenson and Chase Pritchett won in straight sets against Eric Johnson and Nakul Aggarual. Scores were 6-3, 6-3.
Eighth-grader Ryan Lind and sophomore Tanner Webster had a very competitive match at third doubles against Hermantown’s Travis Peterson and Cody Naebarth. After falling 6-4 in the first set, the young ‘Jacks won the second set 7-6 before falling in the third.
Sophomore John Scheuer was also competitive at third singles, winning his second set 6-1 against Hermantown’s Cory Kolquist before losing the third and deciding set 6-4.
Scheuer had been injured, but since his return he has won three of four starts.
First singles player Dylan Burslie went to a first-set tiebreaker against Hermantown’s Jeremy Amys as well, before losing 6-7, 3-6 in straight sets.
On Tuesday, the ‘Jacks fell by the same 6-1 score to the Thunderhawks.
Scheuer was the lone CEC winner, playing at No. 4 singles against Grand Rapids freshman Dustin Erickson. Scores were 6-4, 6-4.
Zach Zezulka took Brice Becker to three sets at No. 3 singles, with the senior dropping the first set 7-5 before roaring back to a 6-0 win in the second set. Becker won a third set tie-breaker to claim the match.
The team’s playoff opponent is undetermined, as there were a number of ties in the seeding procedure.
“We aren’t certain who we get just yet, as there will most certainly be some coin flips at the seed meeting to break ties,” Rickstrom said.
One thing is certain: the team will go as far as its seniors will carry it. The ‘Jacks are a veteran group and Rickstrom is counting on that experience for playoff success.
“We will look to our seniors for leadership, as the team definitely goes where they go,” Rickstrom said.
In addition to team competition, there is individual section play as well on Wednesday in Hibbing. Dylan Burslie and Sean Kedrowski will represent CEC in singles play.
Chase Pritchett and Jake Sorenson will be one of CEC’s doubles teams, while Jon Hammitt and Ryan Kedrowski form the school’s second entry.