Cloqeut-Esko-Carlton tennis heads into playoffs with strong lineup, good weatherThe Cloquet-Esko-Carlton girls tennis players will learn on the fly which opponent they will play in the upcoming section playoffs. The section seeding meeting will be held Sunday night with first-round games to be played the following day. That puts certain schools in a potential travel bind – and CEC is one of them.
By: Jeff Papas, Pine Journal
The Cloquet-Esko-Carlton girls tennis players will learn on the fly which opponent they will play in the upcoming section playoffs.
The section seeding meeting will be held Sunday night with first-round games to be played the following day. That puts certain schools in a potential travel bind – and CEC is one of them.
“I’ve never seen it go like this,” Coach Steve Rickstrom said. “The southern part of the section is bigger than the northern part so some of their teams might play in our half of the bracket. If we have to play on the road it might mean a long trip on very short notice.”
Rickstrom expects his team to be either a fourth or fifth seed in the north part of the bracket, meaning a trip to a place like Cambridge is possible on less than 24 hours’ notice.
“If we’re at home, it doesn’t matter as much, but if we travel, it puts everyone here in a bind,” Rickstrom said. “Somehow I don’t think we’ll see another Sunday night seeding meeting.”
CEC finishes its regular season schedule against Denfeld on Thursday, with a Monday playoff match after that. A win Monday would move the team into the second round to be played the next day, with individual section competition starting Wednesday in Duluth.
The team played two matches last week – beating Hermantown and falling to Aitkin.
CEC beat the Hawks 6-1 earlier in the season and beat them again 5-2 at Hermantown on Oct. 3. Singles player Lora Chalich missed the match due to illness so the lineups were shuffled.
Victoria Marinho, Dana Hartmann and Michaela Houser won at singles while the doubles teams of Alyssa Acheson and Reilly Kedrowski and Breanne Baker and Katrina Smith breezed to victories as well.
“Alyssa and Reilly played as well as they have played all year,” Rickstrom said. “We kind of coasted to a win.”
The next night, the ’Jacks fell 5-2 to the Gobblers at home.
“We switched things up in the lineup and that might have been a mistake,” Rickstrom said. “We need to get Reilly some singles time to prepare for next season, so we mixed up the doubles. It didn’t pay off on the score sheet.”
Marinho and Hartmann earned CEC’s team points, both winning their matches easily. None of the seven team matches went to a third set.
With the regular season winding down, Rickstrom is happy with his team’s
“I’m happy with how we are playing as a team,” he said. “We are set in our rotation as far as our regular lineup. Vic and Dana are in singles, Reilly and Alyssa are getting better in doubles and Lizz (Jezierski) and Stephanie (Campbell) are playing at second doubles. That’s about as strong a lineup as we can put together.”
Rickstrom is also happy with the great early fall weather the team has experienced.
“Usually we are talking about a time of year when we are bundled up,” he said. “It’s been great for us these last couple of weeks.”