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Perham/NYM advances to Section 8A Tennis Championships

Perham/NYM's Jade Lenius reaches up for a return against Crookston at No. 2 doubles. Lenius and Kiera Radniecki earned a straight set win, securing the match for the Yellowjackets. Jason Groth/FOCUS1 / 6
Perham/NYM's Kiera Radniecki follows through on her backhand return at No. 2 doubles. Jason Groth/FOCUS2 / 6
Perham/NYM's Michelle Swyter drills a return in singles action. Jason Groth/FOCUS3 / 6
Perham/NYM's Makayla Melvin focuses on the ball as she prepares for a forehand shot. Jason Groth/FOCUS4 / 6
Perham/NYM's Elle Birkeland charges in on a shot at No. 1 doubles. Jason Groth/FOCUS5 / 6
Jojo Winkels hits a backhand return of a serve during her match at No. 1 doubles against Crookston. Jason Groth/FOCUS6 / 6

Nervous energy and deep breaths turned into sounds of jubilation when the Perham/New York Mills girls tennis team defeated Crookston 4-3, stamping their name into the Section 8A Championship.

It’s the first time for the combined program to make the Section 8A Championship and they will face a familiar foe when they take on the Roseau Rams at 9 a.m. at Courts Plus in Fargo on Oct. 13.

“Overall, I know I really had a blast just sitting back at times and watching how hard our kids competed, even if they were down in the match,” Perham/NYM head coach Jameson Miller said. “Another thing I liked about the day was everyone played their part in the wins as our team leans on different teammates depending on who the opponent is.”

Brianna Schwantz

The Yellowjackets earned three quick points from Brianna Schwantz, Avery Beachy and the doubles team of Grace Minten and Emma Bowers, helping them to an early 3-1 lead. With three matches left on different courts, players and spectators were venturing between courts, waiting anxiously for that fourth and match securing point. It came in the form of the No. 2 doubles team of Jade Lenius and Kiera Radniecki. They won’t their doubles match in straight sets, 6-3 and 6-3, over Jaeden Lizakowski and Emma Borowicz.

Avery Beachy opened with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Hannah Lindemoen, while Schwantz won in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3, over Elyse Christensen. Grace Minten and Emma Bowers were victorious at No. 3 doubles, defeating Hannah Street and Nissa Brekken, 6-2, 6-4.

Avery Beachy

Crookston’s Ally Tiedemann defeated Makayla Melvin, 6-3, 6-2 at No.1 singles, while Hayden Winjum knocked off Michelle Swyter, 6-3, 6-4, at No. 3 singles. Crookston’s No. 1 doubles team of Amy Follette and Catherine Tiedemann defeated Elle Birkeland and Jojo Winkels, 6-1, 6-0.

“We played two really quality opponents, whose programs we really respect,” Miller said. “We knew both matches would be a battle.”

The Yellowjackets opened the day with a much-improved Wadena-Deer Creek tennis team that pushed the Yellowjackets throughout their 5-2 victory over the Wolverines. It was a nice test for the Yellowjackets to get their feet ready for postseason play with an opponent looming, who they hadn’t faced all year in a team format.

Makayla Melvin earned a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Lindy Jones at No. 1 singles. Michelle Swyter was victorious at No. 3 singles, earning a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Madison Packer. The Yellowjackets split the singles points with the Wolverines taking two as well. Abby Westrum knocked off Brianna Schwantz, 6-7, 6-4 and 10-8, at No. 2 singles. Marleen Gari defeated Beachy at No. 4 singles, 6-1, 6-1.

The Yellowjackets swept the doubles portion with Birkeland and Winkels winning 6-3, 6-2 over Kate Schmidt and Corra Endres. Jade Lenius and Kiera Radniecki knocked off Kaylee Ova and Jasmyn Wood, 6-0, 6-0. Grace Minten and Emma Bowers defeated Kelly Muckala and Madelyn Gallant in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0.

Grace Minten

The Yellowjackets will now play Roseau in the Section 8A Championship. It’s a team they are familiar with. The Rams have two victories on the Yellowjackets. They defeated Perham/NYM 5-2 earlier in the season and in the final dual of the season, edged the Yellowjackets, 4-3. The Yellowjackets and the Rams will begin play at 9 a.m. at Courts Plus in Fargo, N.D., on Oct. 13.

Emma Bowers

Make sure to follow @PerhamWDCSports on Twitter for updates of the Section 8A Championships and check back at for more information on tomorrow's Section 8A Championship match between Perham/NYM and Roseau.

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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