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Perham Tennis extends streak with home win over Detroit Lakes

The last time the Perham Yellowjacket girls tennis team was in a dual meet, they made history with their first ever victory over the Park Rapids Area Panthers. This time, they extended their winning streak with a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Lake...

Perham's Michelle Swyter lunges forward to save the point against Detroit Lakes. Jason Groth/FOCUS
Perham's Michelle Swyter lunges forward to save the point against Detroit Lakes. Jason Groth/FOCUS

The last time the Perham Yellowjacket girls tennis team was in a dual meet, they made history with their first ever victory over the Park Rapids Area Panthers. This time, they extended their winning streak with a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Lakers on Sept. 22, at the Perham Tennis Courts.

The Yellowjackets defeated Park Rapids Area, 4-3, on Sept. 13, marking the first time in 21 tries that the Yellowjacket girls tennis team has defeated Park Rapids Area. Last year, the Yellowjackets snapped a skid against Detroit Lakes, and they continued that trend with the 4-3 win.

"Everyone came ready to play and did a great job on our team," Perham head coach Jameson Miller said. "Detroit Lakes has a really solid program and you can tell that their coaches put a lot of time and energy into teaching their kids not only the skills, but how to carry themselves on the court."

While the Yellowjackets started slowly record wise, they have picked it up of late. They started against some larger Class AA schools and perennial state contenders. That experience early has helped the Yellowjackets build into a four match winning streak.

"This is the best season by far for us," Brianna Schwantz said. "Everyone is playing good, with wins from singles and doubles."

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The Yellowjackets swept the singles portion of the event with Josie Beachy, MaKayla Melvin, Schwantz and Michelle Swyter winning in straight sets.

Schwantz made quick work of Detroit Lakes' McKenna Duncan at No. 3 singles. She was the first one off the court and said she needed a quick start.

"I haven't been doing so well the last few games, so I knew I had to start out this one really quick and it happened right away," Schwantz said. "I have really been focusing on my serves to start out a good game."

Schwantz said she was working on where she wants to place her first serve. She said that's where it starts off. She was on in her match, earning a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Duncan.

Melvin was strong at No. 2 singles as well for Perham. She only dropped two games on her way to a straight set victory over Brea Johnston. Melvin rolled to a 6-1, 6-1, straight set win.

Josie Beachy defeated Shelby Busker at No. 1 singles. Beachy won in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1. Michelle Swyter outlasted Brina Smith at No. 4 singles. Swyter and Smith exchanged long rallies in the first set, with Swyter pulling away for a 6-3 win. Swyter controlled the second set, cruising to a 6-0 victory, securing the win for the Yellowjackets.

The Lakers had their success on the doubles side of the court, sweeping the event there. Perham's No. 1 team of Mallory Weber and Caitlin Moulzolf lost in straight sets to Emily Skjonsberg and Mary Nelmark. Weber and Moulzolf dropped the first set, 2-6, before falling in the second, 3-6.

Perham's Elle Birkeland and Kiera Radniecki dropped the first set to Kenzie Braukmann and Josey Allen, 3-6, before forcing a tie breaking third set. Birkeland and Radniecki won the second set, 6-3, before falling in the third 10-3.

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Avery Beachy and JoJo Winkels were defeated at No. 3 doubles. They were edged, 3-6, 2-6, by the team of Liv Hanninen and Maddie Herzog.

The Yellowjackets improved their dual meet record to 5-7 overall, while extending their winning streak to four straight in dual meets. Next up is a road trip to Fergus Falls on Sept. 27.

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