The Perham/New York Mills girls tennis team continued its fast start to the 2019 season with a first place finish at the annual Crookston Pirate Booster Tournament on Aug. 24.
The Yellowjackets bested a strong field of eight teams when they finished with 22 total points. New London-Spicer came in second with 21 points, while Hibbing was third with 30 points. Moorhead finished in fourth with 19, while Crookston was fifth. East Grand Forks, Detroit Lakes and Wadena-Deer Creek rounded out the field. The win should give the Yellowjackets momentum into a triangular on Aug. 29 when the Yellowjackets host Pequot Lakes, East Grand Forks and Roseau, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Perham Tennis Courts.
The Yellowjackets captured a pair of individual titles at No. 3 and No. 4 singles. JoJo Winkels and Mallory Belka earned key individual tournament wins, helping their team to the title in Crookston.
Winkels used a thrilling comeback to win the title. She defeated Crookston's Halle Winjum in three sets. Winkels dropped the first set 0-6, but responded with a 6-4 win in the second, forcing a third set. Winkels won the third set 10-7 to capture the title. She defeated New London-Spicer's Kamryn Quenemoen in straight sets 6-3, 6-1 in the opening round and defeated East Grand Forks' Katelyn Farder in straight sets 6-4, 6-2 in the semifinals.
Belka captured the title at No. 4 singles with a win over New London-Spicer's Maya Mayhew. She defeated Mayhew in straight sets, winning the first 7-6(8) before rolling in the second with a 6-0 victory. Belka opened with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Wadena-Deer Creek's Kelly Muckala and advanced in the semifinals with a win over Moorhead 6-4, 6-2.
Jade Lenius captured the consolation title at No. 1 singles. She rallied off two straight wins after dropping the first match of the tournament. She was defeated by Wadena-Deer Creek's Madison Packer 2-6, 2-6 in the opening round. She rallied for a 2-6, 6-2 and 10-4 victory over Crookston's Hayden Winjum. She closed out with a 6-2, 6-1 win over East Grand Forks' Maggie Dietrich in the consolation finals.
Kiera Radniecki came in with a seventh place finish at No. 2 singles. Radniecki edged out Crookston's Hanna Lindemoen in a tight match. Radniecki won the first set 7-6(1), before dropping the second in a tiebreak 6-7(4) and won the third set 10-6. Radniecki suffered opening losses to Moorhead's Nicole Hoogland (6-1, 7-5) and Wadena-DC's Corra Endres (7-6(1), 2-6 and 10-3).
The No. 2 doubles team of Avery Beachy and Kendra Moris finished in third place. They used a 6-1, 6-4 opening round win over East Grand Forks' Kenday Burris and Thea Haaven-Farstad to advance to the semifinals. However, they were defeated by Moorhead's Anna Korsmo and Rachel Craig (5-7, 7-5 and 10-6). They responded with a 2-6, 6-1 and 10-8 victory over Crookston's Eden Haller and Emma Oborn in the third place contest.
The No. 3 doubles team of Maggie Trites, LaVonne Lindberg and Jazzmin Branchaud captured third place as well. They closed with a 7-6 (4), 6-1 victory over Detroit Lakes' Taylor Tucker and Marit Engum. They opened with a 6-2, 1-6 and 10-4 victory over a team from New London-Spicer, before falling to Crookston in straight sets, 2-6, 6-4, in the semifinals.
The No. 1 doubles team of Mirta Vorderbruggen and Malia Groff were defeated in the consolation championship of the tournament. They picked up a 6-1, 6-2 win over Wadena-DC's Kaylee Ova and Katie Fiemeyer, but were defeated by Moorhead's Kylie Dumas and Katrina Hanson (6-3, 6-3) and Crookston's Catherine Tiedemann and Emma Borowicz (6-1, 6-1).