HIBBING — When the Hibbing High School girls tennis team lost to Princeton last Thursday, for all practical purposes, the Bluejackets thought their season was done.
They couldn’t have been more wrong.
No, Hibbing couldn’t battle its way back for a Section 7AA title, but the Bluejackets picked up a consolation-round match against Grand Rapids/Greenway.
Hibbing and the Lightning hooked up in that match Monday at the Lincoln Elementary School Courts, and now, the Bluejackets’ season is over as Grand Rapids/Greenway came away with a 5-2 victory.
Hibbing coach Gary Conda said he found out right after that match against the Tigers that his team would be playing on Monday.
“The girls were happy about it,” Conda said. “We looked forward to getting another match in. The season is winding down, and the weather will be changing starting Wednesday, so this was good.”
This opportunity gave Conda a chance to look at his lineup for next season.
“We flop-flopped some singles players, but that cost us,” Conda said. “Rapids played well. My reasoning, I’m already looking at next year, so I wanted to try some different stuff right now.”
Conda also wanted his lone senior, Maddie Rewertz, to play No. 1 singles, and even though she lost 6-3 6-2 to Eva Kangas, Rewertz handled herself well at that position.
“She played well,” Conda said. “She was ahead in that first set, so she had a chance to get a good win there. She battled. It kind of makes me think that I should have played her at singles all season.”
Hibbing did get a 2-1 lead in the match as Claire Rewertz and Mercedes Furin beat Taryn Hamling and Courtney Brandt 6-1, 6-1 at first doubles, and Abigail Sullivan downed Jordan Troumbly 6-1, 6-1 at second singles.
The Lightning’s lone point came at fourth singles where Emily Hill beat Kasey Jo Renskers 6-1, 6-1.
“Kasey had been playing doubles all year,” Conda said. “She had a little inconsistency, and it probably wasn’t the best day to switch like this with this wind. The wind was brutal, playing tricks with the ball and stuff.
“There’s no excuses because Rapids had the same conditions. They always say that wind kind of evens things out. The matches are always tighter because you can’t do what you want with the ball. It comes down to a shot or two. That’s the way it goes.”
After that, it was all Grand Rapids/Greenway.
Claire Vekich would beat Megan Bussey 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 at third singles, Caroline Ahcan and Hannah LaFreniere would beat Lola Valeri and Bella Vincent 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 at second doubles and Hailei LaFreniere and Abby Gustason downed Opal Valeri and Lucy Grzybowski 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 at third doubles.
Grand Rapids/Greenway 5, Hibbing 2
Singles: No. 1 — Eva Kangas, GRG, def. Maddie Rewertz, 6-3, 6-2; No. 2 — Abigail Sullivan, H, def. Jordan Troumbly, 6-1, 6-1; No. 3 — Claire Vekich, GRG, def. Megan Bussey, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3; No. 4 — Emily Hill, GRG, def. Kasey Jo Renskers, 6-1, 6-1.
Doubles: No. 1 — Claire Rewertz-Mercedes, H, def. Taryn Hamling-Courtney Brandt, 6-1, 6-1; No. 2 — Caroline Ahcan-Hannah LaFreniere, GRG, def. Lola Valeri-Bella Vincent, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5; No. 3 — Hailey LaFreniere-Abby Gustason, GRG, def. Opal Valeri-Lucy Grzybowski, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.