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Patriots’ junior leads tennis victory over Modeltowners

September 13, 2012
By CRAIG REMSBURG - Senior Sports Writer ( , The Mining Journal

ISHPEMING - Sarah Massie won her match in straight sets Wednesday, but the Westwood High School junior tennis player says she's not at her peak performance just yet.

"I'm not where I want to be quite yet," she said after improving to 9-2 on the season with a 6-1, 6-0 triumph over Lydia Asplund at No. 1 singles. "There's room for improvement."

Massie made several angle shots and made Asplund move all over the court on a chilly, breezy day in which Westwood topped Gwinn, 7-1.

"(Asplund's) quick and can get to a lot of balls," the Patriot said. "I tried to get her to go side-to-side."

WHS coach Chris Jackson said Massie has been working diligently on parts of her game for some time now.

"She's working on managing the points, recognizing when she's in an offensive position and taking advantage of that," he said after his squad improved to 7-2-2 with a 7-1 win over the Modeltowners (0-11). "She also puts pressure on her opponents."

Megan Chapman at No. 3 and Courtney Beauchamp at No. 4 also posted singles wins for WHS. At No. 1 doubles, Alexis Forchini and Kara Harrington downed the Modeltowners' Haylee Lakenen and Taylor Aho, 6-1, 6-4.

"We played well together," Harrington said. "Our serves were good. We've been working on that the last couple of days."

The Patriot duo, which trailed 2-1 in the second set, was pushed by Lakenen and Aho until the end.

"When we fall out of a groove, we fall out of a groove," Forchini said. "It takes us some time to get back into it. But we then made better decisions, better shots and stayed in position better."

Gwinn coach Kelly Kienert liked what she saw of her No. 1 doubles team's second set.

"They have moments of brilliance," she said of Lakenen and Aho, "but just not enough of them."

Kienert also lauded her No. 2 singles player in Brooke Luokkala, who posted the Modeltowners' lone win with a 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 decision over Caitlin Hewitt.

"She played well," the coach said of Luokkala, adding "I'm impressed with our progress.

"We're right on the edge of taking the next step (up) and being more competitive."

Jackson credited his team's 6-2 win over Marquette Tuesday with providing his team with some momentum against Gwinn.

"It was important for some of our players who had close matches (against the Redettes) to come out with the upper hand," he said. "Four out of our six wins came in three sets.

Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251.



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