Perham knocks Mills out of 8A Playoffs
By John George email@example.com A leap of faith by the Perham coaching staff turned out to be the key in the Jackets avenging an early season loss to rival New York Mills. Perham knocked the Eagles out of Section 8A playoffs with a 6-1 win last Thu...
By John George
A leap of faith by the Perham coaching staff turned out to be the key in the Jackets avenging an early season loss to rival New York Mills. Perham knocked the Eagles out of Section 8A playoffs with a 6-1 win last Thursday.
The Jackets have been using a variety of line-ups all season long, but had settled into what they felt was their best line-up two weeks ago when Perham and Mills were to play in a late-season match. That match was stopped because of rain and never rescheduled, but Perham felt they saw something in the rain-shortened match.
"We decided to switch what we thought was our strongest line-up to give our individual sub-section girls another match and a chance to get a better seed in the 8A individual sub-section match later this week," said co-head coach Kathy Pesch.
The Jackets took their No. 2 singles player, Ali Pesch, and their No. 3 player, Abbi Paulseth, and team them up at No. 1 doubles.
"We believed this would help us sweep doubles," Pesch said. "But in doing this, we believed we needed a win from Cassie (Jensen).
Jensen, a senior, didn't disappoint. She beat Mills No. 1, Whitney Koehler, for the first time, 6-0, 6-1.
The new line-up also meant some other players would be out of position. No. 4 singles player Karlie Miller moved to No. 2, but lost to Alisha Hagen, 6-2, 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (7-2).
Another senior, Mary Tufton, moved from doubles, where she has played all season, to No. 3 singles, where she beat Elizabeth Pesola, 6-3, 6-1.
The move did work for sweeping doubles. Pesch and Paulseth won 6-1, 6-4. Perham's No. 2 team, Leah Miller and Amy Pawlowski won 6-2, 6-1, and the No. 3 team of Kate Rennicke and Mariah Muer won in three sets over Kendal Perala and Christine Becker.
"Our girls have improved a lot since the first match of the year against Mills and we had something to prove," Pesch said. "Cassie came out so strong and the rest of the girls followed suit.
The loss ended the Eagles season at 4-11.
This was a hard fought contest by all players," NY Mills head coach Gary Bach said. "Perham was just the better team today.
I know our experience as a team this season will help us return stronger next year," Bach added.
Perham's win over NY Mills allowed them to take on No. 1 sub-section seed Staples-Motley in the quarterfinals Monday. The Jackets season came to an end with a 7-0 loss.
S-M went on to win the south sub-section finals. The Cardinals will now face the north sub-section champs for the 8A title next week in Sartell.
With both teams out, Perham and New York Mills look forward to advancing individual players as the 8A Individual Sub-Section Tournament. Originally scheduled for Thursday in Park Rapids, the tournament has been changed to Friday, Oct. 13 at Gold's Gym in Sartell. First round matches will start at 10 a.m.
The Eagles will have Koehler at No. 1 singles and Hagen at No. 2. The doubles teams will be Erica Imsande and Lauri Vorderbruggen as one team and Margaret Nelson and Casey Kenyon as the other team.
Perham will have Jensen and Miller playing singles with the teams of Pesch and Paulseth along with Leah Miller and Pawlowski.