MSHS, NHS head into conference meets on victories

MARQUETTE – Marquette swept all four singles flights en route to a 6-2 victory over Escanaba in a Great Northern Conference boys high school tennis match on Tuesday afternoon.

The Redmen put a solid match together just two days before they host the GNC meet where Kingsford should be a solid favorite.

“There will be a back draw (consolation bracket), so there will be a chance to pick up some extra points that way,” MSHS coach Charlie Drury said. “It’s interesting to see how things have come along in this short season.”

Junior Josh Downs led the Redmen with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Steve Prica at No. 1 singles. Every match was decided in straight sets, though several were still tight.

That included Marquette’s 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) win at No. 1 doubles by juniors Mike Mlsna and Mike Wiitala over Jared Bizeau and Dom Aos, along with Escanaba’s 7-5, 6-4 victory by Danny VanEffen and Bryan Beem at No. 4 doubles over junior Dakota Riopelle and freshman Kees Gray.

Negaunee 8,

Gladstone 0

At Gladstone, the Miners had little trouble except at No. 1 doubles, where seniors Doug Lindblom and Michael Anderson had to survive a marathon 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 victory over Tyler Wells and Jeremy Kadish.

In the other seven flights, Negaunee (8-0-1) lost just seven games, including freshman Eric Hurst’s 6-0, 6-0 whitewash of Ross Miron at No. 3 singles.

“Eric is gaining more confidence and played well today,” NHS coach Kyle Saari said, adding the Miners have just today to practice before the Mid-Peninsula Conference meet is held at Iron Mountain.

Gwinn 4,

Iron Mountain 4

At Iron Mountain, the Modeltowners swept the No. 1 and 2 flights to forge a 4-4 tie with the Mountaineers at the site of Thursday’s Mid-Peninsula Conference meet.

Gwinn’s toughest win came at No. 1 doubles, where junior Nick Bjork and senior Jesse Mottes outlasted Danny Willman and Sawyer Kujala, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, though the No. 2 doubles tandem of juniors Mason Bruce and Erik Asplund won a tiebreaker in a 6-2, 7-6 (7-1) win over Trent Juul and Tysen Wadge.

The Modeltowners dropped just seven games between their top two singles players as No. 1 junior Inigo Cepeda and No. 2 junior Micah Heath were winners.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Steve Brownlee. His email address is