Eveleth-Gilbert, Virginia tennis pick up home wins

VIRGINIA — The Eveleth-Gilbert girls’ tennis team needed a strong outing Tuesday to bounce back from a tough 4-3 loss to Duluth Marshall on Monday.

That’s exactly what they got as the Golden Bears defeated Crosby-Ironton 5-2 Tuesday afternoon at the Virginia indoor courts.

Eveleth-Gilbert grabbed points at the top two singles spots but had a stand out day at doubles, taking all three points, to seal the match victory.

The top Bears duo of McKenna Edstrom and Katelyn Torrel won out in straight sets over their Rangers opponents Tori Decent and Kalina Spalj, 6-3, 6-3. The No. 2 team of Anna Beaudette and Mylee Young had a tough first set against C-I’s Jordyn Millsop and Monica Stokman, but ultimately won it in a 7-1 tiebreaker. In the second set, they cruised to the 6-3 win to take the point.

Finally, at the No. 3 spot, Hanna Beldo and Julia Lindseth teamed up for a straight sets win of their own, defeating Bella Sablan and Isabel Viginiri, 7-5, 6-4.

Getting the right combination of doubles teams can be difficult for any tennis program, but it looks like things are clicking for the Eveleth-Gilbert doubles pairs, according to assistant coach Jessica Kralich.

“It was awesome to see the doubles play well today,” Kralich said after the match. “We have been struggling to figure it out as a young, inexperienced team. So finding that chemistry and what works has been interesting. It was nice to see those girls come out on top and they worked well together today.”

In singles, E-G’s Lydia Delich had no problem at the top spot Tuesday, defeating Emma Stokman, 6-0, 6-0. At the No. 2 singles spot, Gianna Odella routinely took the first set against C-I’s Teresa Goodwin, 6-1, but had a tougher second set. Ultimately, Odella came out the winner, 7-5, to get another point for the Bears.

The Bears two losses on the day came at No. 3 and 4 singles. At the third spot, Emma Ziegler had a tough time against Crosby-Ironton’s Ella Lewandowski, falling in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3.

Finally, at the No. 4 singles spot, the Rangers’ Bella Severson dispatched E-G’s Kada Ceglar, also in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2.

Ultimately, getting the win after a close loss the day before was a strong way for the Bears to bounce back said Kralich.

“After that tough match yesterday, it was very nice for us to rebound and get the win today. I saw a lot of good aggression at the net and, overall, just a lot of smart play from our girls.”

With section playoffs kicking off in about a month, the importance of every point only seems to increase according to the Bears coach.

“They just need to keep playing smart and know that every shot counts. Every match is important for us right now.”

Looking ahead, Eveleth-Gilbert will play host to Cloquet on Thursday and Kralich hopes the Bears will keep the momentum going throughout the week.

“I think some of our girls became a little more confident after their wins today so it’s nice to see them get better as tennis players as they become more confident.

“I think it’ll be important for us to just keep points in play. That can be a struggle for us sometimes. I think that along with some more aggressive net play will be big for us.”

Eveleth-Gilbert’s match with Cloquet is set to start at 4 p.m. on Thursday at the Eveleth-Gilbert High School.

Eveleth-Gilbert 5, Crosby-Ironton 2

Singles: No. 1 Lydia Delich, EG, def. Emma Stokman CI, 6-0, 6-0; No. 2 Gianna Odella, EG, def. Teresa Goodwin, 6-1, 7-5; No. 3 Ella Lewandowski, CI, def. Emma Ziegler, EG, 6-1, 6-3; No. 4 Bella Severson, CI, def. Kada Ceglar, EG, 6-2, 6-2.

Doubles: No. 1 McKenna Edstrom/Katelynn Torrel, EG, def. Tori Decent/Kalina Spalj, CI, 6-3, 6-3; No. 2 Anna Beaudette/Mylee Young, EG, def. Jordyn Millsop/Monica Stokman, CI, 7-6(1), 6-3; No. 3 Hanna Beldo/Julia Lindseth, EG, def. Bella Sablan/Isabel Viginiri, 7-5, 6-4.

Virginia 7,

Cloquet 0

At Virginia, the Blue Devils girls’ tennis team picked up a solid 7-0 win Tuesday against Cloquet at home.

Senior Ava Warren and junior Mary Skorich were both perfect in their No. 1 and 2 singles matches, respectively, downing their opponents 6-0, 6-0. Warren got the win over Cloquet’s Michelle Jokinen, while Skorich defeated the Lumberjacks’ Addie Loeb.

At No. 3 singles, Megan Kingston grabbed a 6-2, 6-2 straight sets win over her Lumberjacks opponent Marina Dostal, while Jayda Westerbur won 6-1, 6-1 over Cloquet’s Brynn Martin at No. 4 singles.

In doubles, Jacie Smith and Anna Seitz cruised to a straight sets win at the top spot, defeating Lexi Narrgard and Kylie McKeon, 6-2, 6-0. At the No. 2 spot the duo of Sydney Cope-Robinson and Abby Moore dropped only three games in their win over Cloquet’s Lauren Moslowski and Alexys Serafin, 6-1, 6-2. Finally, at third doubles, Virginia’s Ellie Manninen and Abby Kramer gave up only one game per set in a 6-1, 6-1 win over Carlee Maslowski and Brianna Despot.

Following the match, senior captain Anna Seitz said her team looked strong in the 7-0 sweep.

“A few of us were a little shaky at first,” Seitz said. “But we settled down after that and I think we played to our potential today.”

The pressure is firmly on the Blue Devils to repeat as Section 7A champions and even as a senior, Seitz says she still has some nerves when she steps on to the court.

“I tell everyone that I still get really nervous when I first get on the court. We know that nothing is guaranteed out there so we have to keep working hard. The pressure is there but I think we’re more ready than we have been in the past.”

Ranked No. 4 in Class A, the Blue Devils will play host to Hibbing on Thursday. Virginia soundly defeated the Bluejackets earlier in the season and Seitz expects another good match from her team.

“I think it’ll be another good match. We hope to have the same results from earlier in the season and I think if we keep playing to our potential, we’ll be fine.”

Virginia and Hibbing’s Thursday contest is set to start at 4 p.m.

Virginia 7, Cloquet 0

Singles: No. 1 Ava Warren, V, def. Michelle Jokinen, C, 6-0, 6-0; No. 2 Mary Skorich, V, def. Addie Loeb, C, 6-0, 6-0; No. 3 Megan Kingston, V, def. Marina Dostal, C, 6-2, 6-2; No. 4 Jayda Westerbur, V, def. Brynn Martin, C, 6-1, 6-1.

Doubles: No. 1 Jacie Smith/Anna Seitz, V, def. Lexi Narrgard/Kylie McKeon, 6-2, 6-0; No. 2 Sydney Cope-Robinson/Abby Moore, V, def. Lauren Moslowski/Alexys Serafin, C, 6-1, 6-2; No. 3 Ellie Manninen/Abby Kramer, V, def. Carlee Maslowski/Brianna Despot, C, 6-1, 6-1.

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