|9/3/2020 2:18:00 PM|
Wildcats open up season with two big victories over Buffalo and Cambridge-Isanti
JEFF NORTONChisago Lakes 5, Buffalo 2
The Chisago Lakes girls tennis team came out rolling in their modified schedule last week.
They kicked off the fall sports season for the district, and were the first team to take part in a competition since the end of the winter season.
They traveled to Buffalo on Tuesday, August 25 to take on the Bison in a game that wasn’t originally scheduled but was set when the special rules were announced on which teams could play. The last time the squads played was in 2018 and Buffalo clobbered CL 7-0.
Led by state qualifier Greta Gillach and a number of talented seniors, this Wildcat group took it to Buffalo, winning 5-2.
Gillach won going away at first singles over Anna Lee, a state tournament quarterfinalist herself last year. Gillach, a junior, won 6-2, 6-2.
Buffalo got two points at second and third singles but Katy Marquardt, a senior, evened up the singles portion with a 6-2, 6-4 win at the four singles spot.
At doubles, there were two tiebreaks to open, each going the opposite way. Jill Erickson and Chloe Zupko, a pair of seniors, won 7-6 (7-5) in their first set before coasting to a 6-2 win in the second set to finish off the Buffalo pair at first doubles.
At second doubles, senior Jenna Lawry was paired with senior Grace DeVries and they lost their first set 7-6 (8-6) before rebounding for a 6-1 win in the second set. That momentum carried them to a third set win to earn the ‘Cats another point.
At third doubles, the pair of Laine DeVries and Abby Sprado were long done after winning 6-4, 6-2 in their first match of the year.
Chisago Lakes 6, Cambridge-Isanti 1
Four of the seven matches in the Thursday, August 27 showdown went to a third set, and the difference in the competiton was that three of them went the way of the Wildcats.
Gillach wasn’t one of those tight matches, as she marched past her opponent 6-0, 6-1. “Greta is just a stud,” Head Coach Jon Erickson said. “She could make some noise late in the year.”
At second singles, Emily Erickson won her match 6-4, 6-1, doing well in her season debut after missing the Buffalo meet.
Third singles was the lone point the Bluejackets collected on the day with a three set loss for Lauryn Lundberg.
At fourth singles, Maddie Gamble had a peculiar match. She won a tight first set 7-5, but then dropped the second set quickly 1-6. It seemed as if her opponent had figured out what it took to stop her, and it was only a matter of time. But, Gamble fought in the humidity and high heat to stretch the third set to a tiebreaker that she eventually won, securing the final singles point for CL.
In doubles, Jill Erickson and Zupko cruised again, winning 6-4, 6-2. The pair showed that they will be an experienced and talented force in that top doubles spot all year.
Lawry and Grace DeVries stood tall after losing set one in their match and second doubles. They lost 4-6 to open, but then bounced back for a 6-1 win in the second set and a 6-3 victory in the third.
Laine DeVries and Sprado flip-flopped the scores of the second doubles team but still came out on top. They opened with a set win 6-4 before falling 3-6 in the second set. They calmed their nerves, though, and after a bit of a pep talk from the coach, they triumphed 6-2 in the third set, giving the ‘Cats the lopsided 6-1 win.
“I’ve got some good athletes up and down the lineup,” Erickson said, noting that the DeVries sisters and Lawry excel at hockey, Sprado is a star lacrosse player and Zupko is a force on the softball diamond. “It really makes it fun, especially in doubles.”
The ‘Cats have one more tussle before Labor Day, traveling to Monticello Thursday, September 3 before taking the holiday weekend off. They’ll be back at it on Tuesday, September 8 against the North Branch girls tennis team in a county competition that has been dominated by CL recently.