Pats prepared for M-PC tourney

ISHPEMING – Quinn LeRoy says he’s ready for the Mid-Peninsula Conference boys tennis meet scheduled for Thursday in Iron Mountain.

Well, mostly.

“Yeah, I’m ready,” the Westwood High School No. 1 singles player said Tuesday after he and his Patriot teammates had beaten host Ishpeming, 7-1.

“I think my game still needs improving, though. It has hurt getting meets canceled (due to poor weather).”

LeRoy got his game together Tuesday, but he had to rally to beat a stubborn Thomas Bleau, 6-4, 0-6, 10-7.

“I played decent, but I also played a quality opponent,” LeRoy said. “It’s the first time we’ve played each other and he’s good.”

LeRoy said a solid first set was followed by a mistake-prone second set.

“I was rushing too much, hitting the ball too hard. I needed to be a little less aggressive,” he said.

After a chat with WHS head coach Chris Jackson, LeRoy righted the ship and took the super tiebreaker and the match.

“He told me to relax and not rush things too much,” the senior said. “I was returning to (Bleau’s) forehand too much, so I tried to keep the ball away from that. I tried to go to his backhand more.”

Jackson said LeRoy is facing a challenge Thursday in the conference meet.

“No. 1 singles is very competitive this season,” the coach said. “No one has taken a step forward (in our area) other than Munising’s (Noah) Ackerman. It’s the flight to watch in our tournament.

“It was nice to see Quinn bear down after losing that second set.”

The Patriots, who Jackson said have seen five matches called off due to snowy or rainy weather this season, are now 6-0-2.

“It was important for us to get a match in (Tuesday) for the M-PCs,” he said. “I hope this match carries over into Thursday.”

Westwood won all four doubles flights, including No. 1 where Andrew Duquette and new partner Mitch Messing disposed of Tony Gravedoni and Josh Penrose, 6-3, 6-4.

Messing was moved up when Duquette’s normal partner, Derek Wing, was unable to make Tuesday’s meet.

“It’s my first time playing No. 1 doubles and I had to adjust my game (with Duquette),” Messing said. “(Gravedoni and Penrose) sliced some shots and put them in trick spots. Their serves were good, too.”

Added Duquette: “We played decent, though I didn’t do as well as I’m used to. We just had to hustle more and get some lucky shots in play.”

Ishpeming head coach Erl Langness said though he was missing some players, the Hematites played some “close” matches in singles, including No. 3 where Westwood’s Shawn McIntyre outlasted Mark Holmgren, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 10-4.

“Singles played well, but in doubles, only our No. 1 doubles are first doubles. The other guys don’t have a lot of match experience,” he said.

Ishpeming’s lone win came at No. 2 singles, where Cody Johnson beat the Patriots’ Michael Ostlund, 6-1, 6-0.

Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251. His email address is cremsburg@miningjournal.net.