’Jacks fall in team playoffs, move to individual playOn Monday, the ’Jacks defeated Hibbing-Chisholm 5-2 in the Section 7AA first round — the second win of the season over the Bluejackets after not defeating that school for at least 15 years prior to this season — but on Tuesday, CEC fell 7-0 to perennial power Duluth East to see its team season come to an end.
By: Jeff Papas, Pine Journal
The first section playoff result for the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton girls tennis team was expected. Unfortunately for them, so was the second.
On Monday, the ’Jacks defeated Hibbing-Chisholm 5-2 in the Section 7AA first round — the second win of the season over the Bluejackets after not defeating that school for at least 15 years prior to this season — but on Tuesday, CEC fell 7-0 to perennial power Duluth East to see its team season come to an end.
“I was proud of how we played against Hibbing,” Coach Steve Rickstrom said. “We had two players step up and get us wins who didn’t play in the first match of the season we had (a 4-3 CEC win in August over Hibbing) because we had one player hurt and another player we lost to the soccer team.”
Lexi Robideaux came up with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 win at third singles and Kali Kadelbach won at fourth singles 6-3, 6-2.
“If Lexi and Kali both lose their matches, we lose the match,” Rickstrom said. “I’m very proud of how they stood up.”
Lora Chalich won at second singles in three sets, and two of the doubles teams also won. Catelyn Litke and Arica Sheff won at second doubles, and Courtney Ketola and Robideaux won in straight sets at No. 3.
The next day, though, the ’Jacks were only able to take 10 games as a team off the powerful Greyhounds, falling 7-0.
“They were really as advertised,” Rickstrom said of the Greyhounds. “They are easily the best team we’ve seen and were easily the best team in the north subsection. But as good as they are, they won’t be favored in the section because the southern teams like Princeton and Elk River are so good.”
That leaves the individual portion of the section tournament to be played later this week. Breanne Baker has earned the No. 4 seed in the singles tournament, meaning she would be favored to reach the weekend’s second round.
Chalich is a mid-level seed as the other CEC player in the singles tournament, while the doubles teams are Katrina Smith and Abbey Wangen and Litke and Sheff.
“We have a balanced and deep section,” Rickstrom said. “I’m optimistic, though, that we can get one of our entrants to the second round. The issue we’ve always had with the southern teams is that almost all of them have eight courts and a JV program, where everyone up here seems to have four courts and no JV program. So we have to prepare for that.”