CEC tennis team improves as playoffs approachThe Cloquet-Esko-Carlton girls tennis team picked up a solid dual meet win on Tuesday night, defeating Superior 6-1 as the playoffs loom large.
By: Jeff Papas, Pine Journal
The Cloquet-Esko-Carlton girls tennis team picked up a solid dual meet win on Tuesday night, defeating Superior 6-1 as the playoffs loom large.
“Our team played great,” Coach Steve Rickstrom said. “All the way up and down the lineup, the kids played solid.”
Rachel Collier defeated Superior’s Cassie Hanson 6-4, 6-3 at first singles, while Lora Chalich won 6-3, 6-1 at No. 3 and Rosalie Lundquist won 6-2, 6-1 at No. 4.
CEC swept the doubles – the first team of Alyssa Acheson and Reilly Kedrowski won their match 6-2, 6-0; the second team of Katrina Smith and Breanne Baker won 6-2, 6-1; and the third team of Courtney Ketola and Jade Alvillar won 7-5, 6-2.
“I was happy with Rachel Collier stepping up to first singles,” Rickstrom said. “She took that Superior girl and beat her pretty easily.”
The team also lost 5-1 against Grand Rapids-Greenway in a match eventually called off by rain. The team’s point came from Collier, who won 6-4, 6-4 over GRG’s Maria Stampohar at second singles.
The team has been rotating players in and out of the lineup in recent matches.
“We’ve had our third doubles team change a lot,” Rickstrom said. “Everyone has had a chance to play. We are going to try to settle into the top 10 players we have now and try to settle on a lineup.”
To win team matches, Rickstrom said he’s more likely to have his best players playing doubles and hoping a singles player can come through with a win to take a match.
“Doubles has turned out better for us,” he said. “That’s the way it’s going to be for us. Our best chance to win is with our best players in doubles. But the last time we played Superior, I was afraid we’d get beat. [Tuesday night] we looked like a totally different team. We dominated them.”
The team may have some rare practice time this week before a busy stretch of schedule, including a match against perennial power Duluth Marshall, helps prepare the players for the section tournament.