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Braves tie with Flivvers in season’s first match

Courtesy photo by Scott Balenger Gladstone’s Andie Balenger returns a shot against Kingsford’s Stephanie List during a No. 1 singles match Monday at Kingsford. Balenger won the match 6-3, 6-3.

KINGSFORD — The Gladstone girls tennis team began its season at Kingsford Monday, earning a 4-4 tie with the Flivvers.

No. 1 singles player Andie Balenger picked up Gladstone’s lone win in singles with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Kingsford’s Stephanie List.

“Our captain, Andie Balenger had a solid start to the year,” first-year Braves’ coach Ryan Barron said. “She is a great leader. The girls on the team rally around her.”

In doubles matches, Gladstone’s Emma Delaire and Emily Marenger defeated Kingsford’s Karlee Hulkkonen and Myranda Golla 6-2, 6-4 at No. 2. Gladstone’s Alesha Marenger and Sara Eilola picked up a 6-5, 6-4 win against Maegan Dolley and Ashley Demay at No. 3 and Gladstone’s Emma Wagner and Taelor Zeise hung on for a 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 win over Maggie Menghini and Liz Penegor at No. 4.

“It was a beautiful day to play tennis,” Barron said. “There were some nerves today for sure, being the first meet of the year. Some of the girls are still trying to find their roll on the team. New doubles partners are still trying to figure each other out, but it didn’t take long for them to reach their stride. I was extremely proud of our doubles teams for pulling out some tough matches. They fought until the bitter end. I love seeing the persistence and tenacity in these girls. Kingsford’s singles players are solid with plenty of experience, and it showed.”

The Braves visit Marquette Thursday.

Singles

No. 1 — Balenger, G, def. List, 6-3, 6-3; No. 2 — Petchar, K, def. Trudeau, 6-4, 6-1; No. 3 — Tomosarki, K, def. Matthews, 6-1, 6-3; No. 4 — Richtig, K, def. Griebel, 6-3, 6-0.

Doubles

No. 1 — Murvich-Johnson, K, def. LaFave, Saari, 7-6 (6-2), 4-6, 6-2; No. 2 — Delaire-Marenger, G, def. Hulkkonen-Golla, 6-2, 6-4; No. 3 — Marenger-Eilola, G, def. Dolley-Demay, 6-5, 6-4; No. 4 — Wagner-Zeise, G, def. Menghini-Penegor, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.

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