Panthers see winning streak snapped
Brianne Morris expected a close match against Perham/New York Mills Tuesday afternoon at the Depot Courts.
The Park Rapids girls tennis team entered this Mid-State Conference dual by winning five consecutive matches. However, the Yellowjackets used a sweep in doubles and straight-set wins at No. 2 singles and No. 4 singles to snap Park Rapids' winning streak.
Natalie Kinkel and Abby Morris gave Park Rapids a quick 2-0 lead with a pair of 6-0, 6-0 wins at No. 1 singles and No. 3 singles.
Kendra Coborn and Gracie Eischens won the second set to even the match at No. 2 doubles before dropping the third set in a 6-4, 2-6, 6-0 loss.
Perham/New York Mills won the other four matches in straight sets, combining to drop only 15 games, to seal the win.
The loss dropped the Panthers to 4-2 in conference matches and 8-6 overall. Park Rapids entered this match on a roll with conference wins over Detroit Lakes (4-3), Crosby-Ironton (7-0), Wadena-Deer Creek (7-0) and Staples-Motley (4-3). The Panthers started their winning streak with a 6-1 victory over Long Prairie-Grey Eagle. Wadena and Perham are scheduled to host the conference tournament today (Saturday).
"It was a tough loss, but I'm happy with how the girls are playing. Most of them seem to be getting more confidence as the season continues," said Morris. "I knew that Perham was going to be competitive and I figured it was going to go 4-3 either way. In our matches that we didn't win, we made too many errors, like hitting the ball to the fence on a volley right to us, hitting too many groundstrokes into the net or fence, or missing easy shots. We also struggled with the mental part of the game: getting frustrated over missed shots or bad calls. Hopefully we can fix those errors and play well this weekend and next week."
Perham 5, Park Rapids 2
No. 1 singles: Natalie Kinkel, PR, over McKayla Melvin 6-0, 6-0.
No. 2 singles: Brianna Schwantz, P, over Tori Hilmanowski 6-2, 6-2.
No. 3 singles: Abby Morris, PR, over Michelle Swyter 6-0, 6-0.
No. 4 singles: Avery Beachy, P, over Meagan Powers 6-3, 6-2.
No. 1 doubles: Ella Birkeland/Jojo Winkels, P, over Olivia Wallace/Chloe Johnson 6-1, 6-1.
No. 2 doubles: Jade Lenius/Kiera Radniecki, P, over Kendra Coborn/Gracie Eischens 6-4, 2-6, 6-0.
No. 3 doubles: Grace Minten/Emma Bowers, P, over Jada Renneberg/Rachael Herman 6-1, 6-3.