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Eskymo girls tie against Wykons

Justin St. Ours | Daily Press Escanaba’s Lilia Hughes returns the ball against West Iron County’s Aurora Dahl in a No. 3 singles match in Escanaba Friday.

ESCANABA — The Escanaba girls experienced their share of success in doubles play here Friday as they played to a 4-4 tennis tie with the West Iron County Wykons.

Esky won 3-of-4 doubles flights and pulled even with Lizzy Sliva and Lily Newhouse’s 6-1, 6-2 triumph over Hailee Bradshaw and Bailey Hoffart in the No. 4 match on this sunny and seasonably cool day.

Gracie Wickham-Abby Hill topped Kat Hemeleski-Aubrey Bice 6-4, 6-4 at No. 2 and Delaney McIntyre-Leslie Purcell took a 6-1, 6-1 decision from Callistra Bortonameolli-Autumn Smith in No. 3.

“As always, we had a ton of competitive tennis today,” said Esky coach Chris Ogren. “This was a great win at 2 doubles for Gracie Wickham and Abby Hill, who after struggling early in the season, have now won three consecutive matches. We were missing a couple players today so our No. 4 doubles team had to move up to play No. 3 doubles. They did tremendously with the move and still got a convincing 6-1, 6-1 win. We had two jayvee players come up in Lizzy Sliva and Lily Newhouse and the were able to get a nice win at 4 doubles.”

Freshman Sophia Derkos won her sixth straight match in No. 2 singles with a 6-0, 6-2 triumph over Kali Applin.

“Sophia just continues to improve in every match,” said Ogren. “Lillia Hughes normally plays 3 doubles, but was missing her partner today and moved over to 3 singles. She played an extremely competitive match against a very good opponent (Aurora Dahl). Despite the loss (6-4, 6-4), Lillia showed how much she has grown as a player. From her first tennis experience during her sophomore year until now, Lilia has really grown into a great tennis player.”

Derkos said keeping the ball in play was key to her success.

“I practiced my serving and they were staying inbounds,” she added. “Having my family here to cheer me on also helped. I like having the cooler weather because I don’t get as tired as I do when I play in the heat. This season has been a big learning experience. This is a confidence boost for me right now.”

Consistency paid off for West Iron senior Livea Mazurek in a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Esky senior Jacey Moreau.

“Consistency has been a key for me, which is something that comes with experience,” she said. “The ball bounces back faster here than it does on our court. We just got our courts resurfaced two years ago, although I hadn’t noticed the difference too much. I just had to be ready to hit whatever came back at me. We had more long volleys in the second set and keeping the ball in play was key.”

West Iron’s Bryner Nodurtt defeated Amanda Beem 6-4, 6-4 in No. 4 singles and Tori Bociek-Madison Berutti got the Wykons’ lone victory in doubles, 6-4, 6-4 over Erica Moore-Madi Mishica at No. 1.

“There were a lot of good matches here today,” said Wykons’ coach Joe Serbentas. “I think we’re two very evenly matched teams. I think our No. 1 doubles has been solid. No. 4 doubles was a good match and Jayce made a nice comeback for them in the second set in No. 1 singles. We’ve turned things around a little bit lately, and I think our singles are doing a nice job setting up points.”

Esky (5-2-1) travels to Westwood Monday. West Iron (4-5-1) hosts Menominee Monday.

Singles

No. 1 — Mazurek, WIC, def. Moreau, 6-1, 6-4; No. 2 — Derkos, E, def. Applin, 6-0, 6-2; No. 3 — Dahl, WIC, def. Hughes, 6-4, 6-4; No. 4 — Nodurft, WIC, def. Beem, 6-4, 6-1.

Doubles

No. 1 — Bociek-Berutti, WIC, def. Moore-Mishica, 6-4, 6-4; No. 2 — Wickham-Hill, E, def. Hemeleski-Bice, 6-4, 6-4; No. 3 — McIntyre-Purcell, E, def. Bortonameolli-Smith, 6-1, 6-1; No. 4 Sliva-Newhouse, E, def. Bradshaw-Hoffart, 6-1, 6-2.

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