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Monday July 22, 2024
STATEMENT WIN: Esky Tennis Wins At Westwood

WEST ISHPEMING---The Escanaba High School girls tennis team picked up a 7-1 win over a strong Westwood Patriots team Wednesday afternoon in West Ishpeming.

The win kept the Eskymos undefeated on the season, as they followed up a tie with undefeated Negaunee with a performance that saw five straight-set victories on Wednesday. It was an effort that impressed Escanaba Coach Chris Ogren as the regular season winds down.

"We had a great team win against a very good Westwood team," he said Wednesday night. "Sophia Derkos (#1 singles) was able to battle through her struggles and still come out on top.We also had outstanding performances from our No. 1 and No. 2 doubles teams."

Indeed, it was unusual territory for Derkos as she faced Westwood's Lexi Olson. Derkos, the MHSAA Division One U.P. Player of the Year last year after posting an undefeated season, is also undefeated this season. And she has not lost a single set all season long.

But on Wednesday, she was given a stiff challenge by Olsen. Derkos won the first set, 6-4, but in a rarity, fell behind, 4-2, in the next set. Deroks dug deep and won the next four points to take the set, and the match, 6-4, 6-4.

"Lexi is a really strong player," Ogren said. "It was nice to see that Sophia was able to battle through her struggles."

The Number Two doubles win for Escanaba was impressive, as Sonya Maki and Molly Smale were about to get routed in the first set by Westwood's Nolia Dawson and Kaylin Doney.

The Eskymo duo trailed, 5-1, in that first set before completely turning things around by winning six straight games, breaking serve three times in the process. The second set was also intense, and lengthy, with the teams exhanging blows that ended in a 6-4 win for Maki and Smale.

"It was the best stretch of tennis our No. 2 doubles team has played all year," Ogren said. "It's coming at just the right time."

Westwood's only win came at No. 2 singles, with Sami Ruby beating Escanaba's Molly VanDamme, 6-1, 6-1.

Escanaba's win on Wednesday followed two match victories at home on Tuesday, both by 8-0 scores over Munising and Menominee. And there's no rest for the Eskymos, as they have another road trip on Thursday, their longest of the sesason, to West Iron County.

The Escanaba-Westwood scores are posted below:

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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
ALL TIED UP: Escanaba, Negaunee Settle Nothing
Wednesday September 13, 2023
SHARED RESPECT: Derkos, Schone Meet In Tennis
Tuesday August 22, 2023