Pioneers blow past Flyers at tennis season opener in Pierz, Aug. 18

By Tyler Ohmann

Sports Editor

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The girls tennis season is well underway as the season opened with Pierz hosting and sweeping Little Falls, Aug. 18.

The most dominant Pioneers wins came in doubles, as all three doubles teams won 6-0, 6-0.

The senior team of Brittney Boser and Avy Lease topped the Flyers’ top doubles team of Alexa Stoner and Brianna Marshik.

(82717sportsGallVonbergh) Staff photo by Tyler Ohmann
Pierz’ Gracie Gall, left meets with Little Falls eighth grader Alexis Vonbergh after the Pioneer won in an extra singles match in each team’s season opener, Aug. 18.

“Our team was really together and focused,” Lease said.

She believes that doubles is the most fun to play, and that the senior duo has big plans.

“Doubles is more fun, because it is more intense and you get to go up to the net,” Lease said.

Anessa Leidenfrost and Laura Skiba swept Victoria Gottwalt and Beth Ahlin, while the Pierz duo of Gracie Gall and Bailey Lochner topped Sylvia Erwin and Madeline Nuehring.

In singles, Pierz’ Becky Langer won 6-1, 6-1 over Little Falls senior Grace Schulte at No. 1. Kalyn Gritzmacher of the Pioneers cleanly swept Flyers senior Emily Orr.

“Hopefully today really helped us realize all the little things we need to do,” Boser said. “Especially confidence, which is key.”

Abby Andrea won 6-3, 6-4 over Makayla Geise in the closest match at No. 3 singles.

Lastly, Valerie Gall of Pierz took down Kaitlyn Cox of Little Falls, 6-0, 6-0.

“We have a lot of younger girls that really can play anywhere in our lineup,” Boser said. “They are really working hard at practice.”

Boser hopes that she and Lease can be leaders.

“It is all about how you carry yourself, because they see that,” Boser said.

As for goals going forward, Pierz is proceeding slowly.

“We’re taking one step at a time,” Boser said. “We’ll try to figure out everything first, and then worry about getting the win.”

Little Falls went on to meet Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Upsala Swanville Area (LPGE/USA) at Crosby Ironton.

LPGE/USA narrowly took what was its season opener, 4-3.

Little Falls was strong in doubles as the duo of Schulte and Sadie Sue Houdek (sophomore) won 6-0, 6-0 over Tanya Hesse and Bailey Petron.

“The team of Schulte/Houdek looked very strong at doubles today,” said Flyers head coach Deb Yliniemi-Ahlin.

The Flyers Marshik and Stoner fell, but it took three sets for Cathleen Rieffer, a Swanville sophomore, and Sydney Krueger to top them.

Lastly, the Flyers team of Cox and Ahlin won 6-2, 6-1 over Kaitlyn Cebulla and Erin Wehking. It was the pair’s first ever varsity wins.

In singles, LPGE/USA’s Ally Ecker swept Emily Orr at No. 1 singles.

Little Falls sophomore Makayla Geise did get a forfeit win over Lupita Mora at No. 2.

Little Falls’ Madeline Nuerhing fell to Alison Gugglberger and Tori Gottwaldt lost to LPGE/USA’s Abbi Larson.

The Flyers were then swept by Crosby-Ironton.

Little Falls’ closest match was a  Houdek loss at No. 2 singles. She lost in straight sets, but the first set went to a tiebreaker, which she lost 8-6.

In doubles, the team of Orr/Geise lost 6-0, 6-3.

Little Falls’ next match will be at home against Apollo at 4 p.m., Tuesday. Pierz will host Wadena-Deer Creek at 4 p.m., Tuesday as well.