Eskymos sweep Braves
GLADSTONE — The Escanaba tennis team swept the Gladstone Braves 8-0 here Wednesday for its second straight win. Despite the sweep, the Braves made it difficult for the Eskymos.
No. 3 doubles was in its second set with Escanaba ahead 1-0. Ian Valentine and Jayger Lamarch led the set 5-3, but Carter Hedman and Rane Castor fought back to take a game to make it 5-4. The 10th set quickly reached 40-30 in favor of Esky, but it was an enthusiastic return from Castor that spelled the end of the match as his racket contacted the net, which awarded the point to the Eskymos (6-6).
Escanaba also took No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4 doubles in two sets.
Even though No. 2 singles finished in two sets in Esky’s favor, it was a site of contention. Esky’s Gunner Dlugas reached 4-1 quickly against Gladstone’s (1-8) Tyler Barteld. Barteld showed his tenacity, winning three games in a row to tie the set at four with a hard overhand shot to end the exchange.
A quick exchange next saw Dlugas net the ball at the end of a volley to concede a game to Barteld, who then led 5-4. Dlugas fought back to grab two games to lead 6-5. However, Barteld wouldn’t concede as he tied it up by showing the power of his overhand again.
The set entered a tie-breaker, which is a special seven point game where the first player to reach seven takes the set. Barteld took an early lead of 2-1 with another overhand, but dropped the next two points with balls into the net. Dlugas took the tie breaker 7-4 to win the first set.
The second set was hard fought. Eventually, it came down to a 5-5 tie. After a series of deuces and advantages, Dlugas took the game with a lob that dropped into the back corner of the court.
After a quick set of exchanges, Dlugas took a 40-30 advantage, and he finished it off to give him the break point and the match.
“We had some close matches at No. 2 singles,” Braves’ coach Dan Williams said. “Tyler is playing really good tennis. He’s been working the net really well. Gunner is also a great player. It was a really fun match to watch. They were very well-matched, and they played a very similar type of game.”
Esky coach Tom Penegor praised both players.
“I was happy to see Gunner withstand being in such a competitive match and to be able to come out on top,” he said. “Tyler is a very nice player. He’s got a nice serve that covers a lot of the court. I was just happy with Gunner sticking it out and not giving up and playing through those conditions.”
Esky took all other singles in two sets.
“I think the big thing we need to work on is consistency,” Williams said. “We’re in a lot of flights, and we’re just a little less consistent than other teams. That’s really hurting us. We just have to keep working.”
Penegor was happy with his team’s overall performance.
“I think, overall, our team played a pretty good match today,” he said. “I was happy with the way we competed. Our guys did a good job and finished. That’s hard to do with a younger team like we have. They’re learning how to do that.”
Escanaba visits Menominee today at 4, while Gladstone visits Munising at 4:30.
No. 1 — Carne, E, def. Flaminio, 6-1, 6-0; No. 2 — Dlugas, E, def. Barteld, 7-6 (4), 7-5; No. 3 — Mayville, E, def. Torvinen, 6-3, 6-0; No. 4 — Beauchamp, E, def. Noblet, 6-1, 6-0.
No. 1 — Burch-LaMarche, E, def. Smith-Anderson, 6-1, 6-1; No. 2 — Lord-Moreau, E, def. E. Dawson-Artes, 6-2, 6-3; No. 3 — Valentine-Lamarch, E, def. Hedman-Castor, 6-1, 6-4; No. 4 — Johnson-Maki, E, def. C. Dawson-Leonoff, 6-2, 6-1.