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November 17, 2019

9/26/2019 4:24:00 PM
Wildcat tennis team grabs at least a share of M8C title

Fireworks were in order last week as Chisago Lakes, unbeaten in the Mississippi 8 Conference, took on reigning champions Princeton on Thursday, September 19 and new M8C member Becker on Monday, September 23.

Chisago Lakes 4, Princeton 3
The Tigers of Princeton have only lost one Mississippi 8 Conference match in the last nine years, but Chisago Lakes doubles that number on a hot and humid Thursday afternoon.

The Wildcats split the singles portion of the match 2-2, and a huge three set win from Jill Erickson and Chloe Zupko was the deciding match in doubles and the whole match overall, giving CL the 4-3 victory.

In singles, Malia McKinnon won in the second spot, 6-0, 6-2. Alyssa Vanornum, who’s had a huge year, remained unbeaten at fourth singles in the Mississippi 8 Conference, winning 7-5, 6-2 to help earn the split at singles.

In doubles, Princeton’s top tandem beat Claire and Grave DeVries, but Laine DeVries and Emily Erickson got a measure of revenge, winning 6-4, 6-2 at third singles, setting the stage for Zupko and Jill Erickson’s epic win.

The pair lost their first set 6-4, but bounced back for 6-4 wins of their own in the second and third set, setting off a grand celebration for the visiting Wildcats and their fans that made the trip to Princeton.

Chisago Lakes 4, Becker 3
The big wins kept coming for the ‘Cats, as they had another dramatic finish against fellow M8C undefeated Becker Bulldogs, a team they had never beaten in their history.

The doubles portion of the match went very similar to the Princeton tussle.

Zupko and Jill Erickson won in three sets at second doubles after dropping the first set, and Emily Erickson and Laine DeVries swept through third doubles 6-2, 6-4. Claire and Grace DeVries fell at first doubles, but it meant CL just needed a split in the singles half again.

McKinnon got the first leg of that task done, winning 6-3, 7-5 at second singles.  Greta Gillach stayed with Becker’s top singles player but eventually fell 4-6, 4-6, and Lauryn Lundberg fell to a tough third singles player from Princeton, leaving Vanornum as the deciding point. She had won the first set 6-4 before falling in the second set in tiebreak.

In the third and final set to decide the team match, Vanornum got down 1-5 and it looked like CL was going to drop their first M8C match. But, the resilient senior just would not quit. She fought her way back to tie the match before winning it in a thrilling tiebreaker, setting off another frenzy in as many matches for the ‘Cats.
“They were some big wins for us,” Head Coach Jon Erickson said of the two matches. “Alyssa’s win against Becker was in the most epic fashion and she’s been a great senior leader for us!”

The ‘Cats swept Big Lake 7-0 on Tuesday, September 24 to ensure at least a share of the Mississippi 8 Conference title.

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