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Perham tennis downs Minnewaska, falls to Crookston

The Perham boys tennis teams bid for a Section 8A Championship fell short in the semifinals against the two-time defending champion, Crookston Pirates. The Yellowjackets opened the day with a 5-2 victory over Minnewaska Area, before falling to Crookston, 4-3, in Fergus Falls on May 22.

“I was very proud with how we competed on the day as we played two very solid, well coached programs,” Perham tennis head coach Jameson Miller said.

The Yellowjackets were edged out by Crookston, 4-3. The Pirates were able to sneak out a win at doubles, while capturing three of the singles wins on their way to the victory.

“Crookston was an important match for our program. Although, we ended up a little short, it showed that we can compete with the two-time section champions,” Miller said. “Like Minnewaska, they are a solid program that’s well coached and with high class players. I couldn’t be more proud of this team and both our seniors, Noah Christenson and Aaron Solberg. They represented our team with class and sportsmanship. I’ll miss them both next year.”

Crookston’s Matt Garmen defeated Carter Cresap at No. 1 singles. Garmen won the first set, 6-0, but Cresap battled back in the second set. Garmen was able to hold off Cresap, earning a 6-4 win.

Nick Garmen was victorious at No. 2 singles for the Pirates. He edged out Ben Winkels in straight sets. Garmen took the first, 6-0, while winning the second set, 6-2.

Crookston’s Jake Widseth defeated Drew Birkeland at No. 3 singles. Birkeland took Widseth to the brink in the first set, but Widseth held on for a 6-4, win. He took the second set, 6-0.

Josh Peterson put the Yellowjackets on the board in singles, winning at No. 4. He defeated Logan Schultz in straight sets without dropping a game, 6-0, 6-0.

Gunnar Anderson and Ryan Murphy disposed of Mitchell Olson and Logan Prudhomme at No. 1 doubles. Anderson and Murphy won the first set, 6-2, and held off in a tiebreaker in the second set, winning 7-6 (7-5).

Blake Fee and Mason LaPlante edged out the senior duo of Christenson and Solberg at No. 2 doubles. They needed three sets to accomplish the feat, defeating Christenson and Solberg, 6-2, 5-7, 6-3.

Wyatt Guck and Anthony Reese were victorious at No. 3 doubles. They defeated Thomas Cymbaluk and Jack Garmen in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5.

The Yellowjackets finished the team portion of the season with an 11-3 record overall.

Perham 5
Minnewaska Area 2

The Yellowjackets opened the first round of Section 8A competition with a 5-2 victory over Minnewaska Area. The Yellowjackets swept the doubles competition, while taking two of the four singles events, earning their second win over Minnewaska Area during the season.

“I knew if we didn’t play some of our best tennis of the year that we could be in trouble as they have some really good players that can hit the ball,” Miller said. “I thought our movement at both singles and doubles was solid and gave us enough openings to get a few close wins. It was an important match for our program as it’s always tough getting a win in the Section 8A playoffs. There a lot of good players and programs in the section.”

After dropping their first set, Anderson and Murphy rebounded to win in three sets, 2-6, 6-2, 6-2, at No. 1 doubles over Evan Palmer and Zach Evans.

Christenson and Solberg were victorious at No. 2, defeated Calvin Hoffmann and Sam Peters, 7-6 and 6-2.

Guck and Reese were victorious at No. 3 doubles, defeating Nathan Gallagher and Cade Fier, 6-3, 6-1.

Minnewaska Area earned a pair of wins at No. 1 and No. 2 singles. Carter LaMont defeated Winkels at No. 1 singles, 6-0, 6-2, while Tate Reichmann defeated Birkeland at No. 2 singles, 6-1, 6-2.

Peterson was victorious at No. 3 singles, knocking off Ben Larson in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0.

Nathan Kawleski was victorious at No. 4 singles, defeating N.K. Vandyke in straight sets, 6-1, 6-0.   

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

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