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Monday July 22, 2024
SHARED RESPECT: Derkos, Schone Meet In Tennis

Click the thumbnails to see thumbnails from Monday's #1 singles and #1 doubles matches, and to hear post-game interviews with Sophia Derkos and Tia Schone.

The high school girls tennis season is under way across the Upper Peninsula, and on Monday, the Escanaba Eskymos and Gladstone Braves hooked up in a match on the new Escanaba High School courts.


The Eskymos won the match, 7-1, which included a meeting between two of the U.P.'s best tennis players at #1 singles: Escanaba's Sophia Derkos and Gladstone's Tia Schone.


In the end, Derkos won the match in straight sets, 6-2, 6-0. But it was not as lopsided as that score indicates, as there were multiple long rallies between the two girls.


Derkos, the Division One Upper Peninsula Player of the Year last year who won every one of her matches without losing a single set, used Monday's match to get her feet wet on a new season in which she hopes for the repeat at U.P. Finals.


And Schone rarely lost last year, earning herself First Team All-UP honors.


“She's a really good player,” Derkos said of Schone. “Probably the best one I play against this year. I was working on drills with my coach (Luke Ogren), and try different techniques and I think I used them a lot this match. Just trying to hit it with power, and direct it where I want. Maybe try a different spin or something. I thought this was going to be a really difficult match, and it was.”


For her part, Schone was pleased to be as competitive as she was.


“I think it went really well,” Schone said. “Sophia is really good. She plays year-round, and I play tennis during the season (softball and basketball in other seasons). I really enjoy playing her. She's a really nice girl. She makes me a lot better when I play her. My first year playing against her, and I was really happy and really excited.”


That mutual respect was seen on the court throughout the hourlong match, as the two girls routinely complimented each other by saying “nice shot” after certain points.


“She definitely hits the ball hard,” Derkos said. “It was good.”


“She places balls really well,” Schone said. “On a lot of points, I couldn't get to the ball, and she has great shots. That, and her serve is really nice, too. That's a little bit harder to place and a little bit harder to hit for me. I think I served really well. Had a couple of ace serves, and I moved her backward and forward really well. For the first time playing her, I think it went really well.”


Does Derkos feel any pressure as she tries to repeat as UP Player of the Year?


“Yes,” she said, honestly. “I think everyone came back better this year. So, I think I'm gonna have a tougher year.”


“Everyone's coming for her, and she's got her work cut out for her,” Escanaba Coach Luke Ogren said, then added. “In tennis, the fourth doubles spot is just as important as the first singles spot. We're going to need all 12 girls to step up if we're going to do anything this year.”


1 Singles Sophia Derkos (ESC) def Tia Schone (GLAD) 6-2, 6-0
2 Singles Addie Trombley (GLAD) def. Molly VanDamme (ESC), 7-5, 6-2
3 Singles Alexis Burch (ESC) def. Sam Korpi (GLAD, 6-0, 6-0
4 Singles Carly Maki (ESC) def. Maggie Martin (GLAD), 6-0, 6-0

1 Doubles Natalie Williams/Molly Smale (ESC) def. Montgomery Pepin/Reese Herioux (GLAD), 6-2, 6-3
2 Doubles Sam Manninen/Sonya Maki (ESC) def. Sylvia Nault/Tati Martinez (GLAD), 6-0, 6-0
3 Doubles Val Royer/Sophie Wagner (ESC) def Charlotte Hanson/Sam Drielick (GLAD), 6-3, 4-6, 6-1
4 Doubles Carly Bowden/Danni Hughes (ESC) def. Miranda Drielick/Ellie Mathias (GLAD), 6-0, 6-0

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BACK-TO-BACK: Derkos Named U.P.'s Top Player
Thursday October 19, 2023
ALL TIED UP: Miners, Eskymos Share Tennis Title
Friday October 6, 2023
STATEMENT WIN: Esky Tennis Wins At Westwood
Friday September 22, 2023
ALL TIED UP: Escanaba, Negaunee Settle Nothing
Wednesday September 13, 2023