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Prep girls tennis: CEC sails past Grand Rapids in Section 7AA tournament

The Lumberjacks advanced to play at top-seeded Elk River at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7.

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Cloquet’s Marina Dostal hits a forehand return during her match with Superior’s Sydney Friedrich at No. 1 singles Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, in Cloquet. Dostal won in straight sets over Grand Rapids' Emily Hill in the opening round of the Section 7AA tournament. Jed Carlson / 2021 File / Superior Telegram

Cloquet-Esko-Carlton senior Marina Dostal got off to a slow start in her first match of the Section 7AA team tournament Tuesday, Oct. 5, but rallied to win and help the Lumberjacks to a 6-1 team win over Grand Rapids.

Coach Derek Johnson said Dostal struggled early at the No. 1 singles spot with opponent Emily Hill’s slice shot early, but was able to adjust to win the match 6-4, 6-2.

“A slice shot stays lower and has back spin,” Johnson said. “So we had her bend her knees a little bit to do some slicing back. Then (Hill) tried to slice and charge the net, but Marina started hitting better lobs the girl couldn’t get to with passing shots.”

No. 2 singles player Winnie Benjamin-Hall lost her previous match against the Thunderhawks’ Franzi Teichmann and Tuesday’s rematch started exactly the same as it did last time, with Benjamin-Hall falling behind 3-0 in the first set.

This time, however, Benjamin-Hall responded by winning nine straight games and taking the match 6-3, 6-3.

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  • Once dabbling, CEC's new tennis players now dominating Jayden Karppinen and Dana Jones only recently picked up the sport, but both feel they've learned a game they can play long after they are done with other sports.
  • Prep girls tennis: Summer work and ‘positive attitude’ fuel CEC, Dostal’s run The Lumberjacks have a senior-heavy team whose offseason work is paying off this fall, according to coach Derek Johnson.

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Cloquet’s Winnie Benjamin-Hall returns a shot during a September match against Superior’s Paige Sanders in Cloquet. Benjamin-Hall rallied to beat Franzi Teichmann in the first round of the Section 7AA tournament Tuesday, Oct. 5. Jed Carlson / 2021 File / Superior Telegram

Johnson said Lydia Stone was “really impressive” in her match at the No. 3 spot playing Carolina Achan. While Johnson said, he was a little concerned about this match going into it, Stone won 6-0, 6-1.

“I thought that one was going to be a closer one because I knew her opponent was a hard hitter, but she was just over-hitting today,” Johnson said.

The only blemish on the Lumberjacks scoresheet was Jayden Karppinen and Brynn Martin’s loss in super tiebreaker to Courtney Brandt and Taryn Hamling at the No. 1 doubles spot. Karppinen and Martin lost the first set 6-3, but rallied to win the second before falling in the tiebreaker.

“They played well, they just came up short at the end,” Johnson said.

CEC will now play at top-seeded Elk River at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7.

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Cloquet-Esko-Carlton’s Dana Jones chases down the ball and hits a backhand during her match at no. 3 doubles in the Lumberjacks’ match with Superior on Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, in Cloquet. Jones and Carlee Maslowski won their No. 2 doubles match against Grand Rapids' Hannah LaFrenier and Molly Pierce Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. Jed Carlson / 2021 File / Superior Telegram

Cloquet-Esko-Carlton 6, Grand Rapids 1

Singles — Marina Dostal, CEC, def. Emily Hill 6-4, 6-2; Winnie Benjamin-Hall, CEC, def. Franzi Teichmann 6-3, 6-3; Lydia Stone, CEC, def. Caroline Ahcan 6-0, 6-1; Addie Loeb, CEC, def. Mercury Bischoff 6-3, 7-5.

Doubles — Courtney Brandt/Taryn Hamling, GR, def. Jayden Karppinen/Brynn Martin 6-3, 3-6 (10-2); Carlee Maslowski/Dana Jones, CEC, def. Hannah LaFrenier/Molly Pierce 6-0, 6-4; Bella Herriman/Alexis Goranson, CEC def. Addison Lindner/Lindsey Tulla 6-2, 6-1.

Related Topics: TENNISCLOQUET
Jamey Malcomb has a been high school sports reporter for the Duluth News Tribune since October 2021. He spent the previous six years covering news and sports for the Lake County News-Chronicle in Two Harbors and the Cloquet Pine Journal. He graduated from the George Washington University in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in history and literature and also holds a master's degree in secondary English education from George Mason University.
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