Girls tennis: Perham-New York Mills keeps rolling with win over Detroit Lakes
The Perham-New York Mills girls tennis team notched another Section 8-2A win over Detroit Lakes on Thursday. With the postseason right around the corner, the Yellowjackets aren't taking anybody in their formidable section for granted.
PERHAM – The Perham-New York Mills girls tennis team looked at 2021 as a rebuilding season. Now, with a strong core of leaders and a roster shaping into postseason form, the Yellowjackets feel like they can make some noise at sections.
Perham-New York Mills beat Detroit Lakes 5-2 on Thursday behind three singles and two doubles wins.
“We have a good blend,” Yellowjackets’ head coach Jameson Miller said. “All we need is four points. It doesn’t matter where we get it from. Some days it’s going to be the bottom of your lineup. On other days it’s going to be at the top of your lineup. Today, we needed a good result from LaVonne (Lindberg) and Kaia (Anderson). They’re experienced players, and (Detroit Lakes’) girls were new to the Nos. 1 and 2 singles spots. We’re just very solid up and down the lineup. We’ve got good players at each spot. I ask the girls all the time if they’d rather win 6-1 and be the one loss or lose 6-1 and be the one win. I think all of them would take the one loss if that means the team wins.”
One of the most significant sets of shoes to fill from last year was at No. 1 singles. Lindberg was tasked with replacing Mallory Belka and has stepped up to the challenge. She beat Anna Askelson 6-1, 6-0.
“She’s probably one of the hardest workers we’ve ever had come through our program,” Miller said. “She gets excited on the court. I’m very glad that she’s passionate about this sport. She does her summer rec tennis at the community center. She’s doing a great job. She wants to win every match, but No. 1 singles is hard. There are a lot of good players up there, but she’s a good player. That’s why she’s getting wins there.”
Anderson came away with a hard-fought 6-4, 6-1 victory over Amaya LeCleir at No. 2 singles. Violet Radniecki took care of business against Avery Klabunde with a 6-2, 6-0 win at No. 4 singles.
Maya Radniecki and Addicyn Zimmerman beat Claire Pazdernik and Allie Bolar in straight sets. At the same time, Courtney Ternus and Eva Vorderbruggen staged a late first-set comeback in a 7-6, 6-0 win over Abby Noll and Maren Strawsell.
The Yellowjackets have had a rotating cast of characters at the bottom of the doubles lineup.
“Dave (Cresap) and I have been doing this a long time,” Miller said. “We had a boys team where we used our iron 10. One of the kids ended up getting sick, so we had to throw a kid out there who never had varsity experience. We don’t want to put kids in those situations, so we rotate kids in and out. This year, we have a lot of players that can play in that role. Come playoff time, we’ll narrow it down. But if somebody gets sick or rolls an ankle, we’ll feel confident in another one stepping up.”
Jaden Mercil notched the Lakers’ lone singles win over Alayna Moe 7-5, 6-2. Ari Leitheiser and Megan Lunde knocked off Trinity Covington and Morgan Smith in straight sets at No. 1 doubles.
Last year, the Yellowjackets moved into a tough Section 8-2A, which presented unfamiliar challenges for a rebuilding team.
“We had a lot of turnover last year,” Miller said. “This year was a little less. I think the girls are getting comfortable being in their roles.”
Perham-New York Mills has looked sharp in section play this fall. However, with depth in seeds 1-8, the Yellowjackets know their seeding is merely just a number.
“In a lot of years, seeding is very important. I don’t know how important it will be this year,” Miller said. “That’s 2A tennis. You have big schools, and teams are usually pretty deep. We’ve played a lot of great competition and had matches that came down to the wire. We hope it pays off, but the postseason can do funny things. We tell the girls to stay in the moment. Don’t think about the past. Don’t think about the future. Focus on what you have on the schedule that day, and they do a good job of that.”