CEC girls sweep SpartansThe Cloquet-Esko-Carlton girls tennis team picked up its second dual meet win of the season over Superior on Tuesday, with a 7-0 whitewash.
By: Jeff Papas, Pine Journal
The Cloquet-Esko-Carlton girls tennis team picked up its second dual meet win of the season over Superior on Tuesday, with a 7-0 whitewash.
Breanne Baker led the way at first singles, defeating Superior’s Hannah Thul 6-2, 6-0. Lora Chalich sweeping Carly Webber 6-0, 6-0 at second singles, and Rosalie Lundquist defeating Emma Buckley 7-6 (7-2), 6-0 at No. 3. Freshman McKenzie Ketola completed the singles sweep with a three-set win over Hannah Isabella by scores of 6-7 (10-8), 6-3, 7-5.
In doubles, the first team of Courtney Ketola and Katrina Smith swept Superior’s Harmony Clarke and Allie Thul 6-3, 6-4. Kali Kadelbach and Annika Hammitt defeated Sydney Clikeman and Monica Soland 6-4, 6-1 at second doubles, and freshmen Lindsey Lamirande and Rachel Willgohs won in straight sets over Gabbie Hals and Hailey Anderson 6-4, 6-2.
The win was satisfying for two reasons.
First was the youth of the CEC team selected by Coach Steve Rickstrom. Several junior varsity-level players made their varsity debuts and all of them won.
“We beat [Superior] fairly easily last time and they’re rebuilding,” Rickstrom said. “It was a good time to get some young players in, and every one of them came back with a win. What a day for those kids.”
Kadelbach and Lamirande made their varsity debuts and Willgohs played her first varsity match of the season.
“I wanted to get Rachel a varsity match before the end of the season, Kali is one of our most improved players and Lindsey earned her shot,” Rickstrom said. “We are graduating six seniors this year and we have to look at the younger players sooner or later. It’s just great that they all won.”
The other reason the win was satisfying? The team’s recent schedule, which included local powers Virginia, Eveleth-Gilbert and Grand Rapids in successive matches.
“We just got done with Murderer’s Row,” Rickstrom joked. “We got beat up three straight matches so it was good to play a team we can compete with a little better. Everyone was smiling after the match. I’m happy to be done with that stretch. Usually Virginia is the power but this year Eveleth is 10th-ranked in the state.”
The team has six scheduled matches remaining in its regular season. The ’Jacks will face Ashland on Saturday in Ashland and perennial power Duluth Marshall at home on Monday.
“We know nothing about Ashland, and Marshall is always a different vibe to play,” Rickstrom said. “They have tennis players at Marshall while we have basketball and softball players who also play tennis. That’s not a slam on our girls but we believe in multi-sport athletes at our school by choice. It will be interesting to play them.
“Right now it’s about finding 13 players for the playoff roster,” Rickstrom added. “We may have four spots open for competition so it will be a matter of seeing who steps up.”