After dropping a 4-3 match to Perham, the Pirates bested East Grand Forks by the same score.

    After Crookston's most recent loss, a 4-3 defeat to Moorhead, Head Coach Cody Brekken mentioned the strides he saw. His team took larger strides today as they picked up their first team win of the season in a triangular featuring Perham and East Grand Forks.

    Perham won the opening match 4-3, and Crookston closed the day beating East Side 4-3 to put them at a 1-9 record on the season.

    "It's all in the head game," Brekken said. "When you're losing, it really kind of shreds some confidence. I was really telling the kids we're missing some guys, and we're not playing our best tennis right now. It's early and just stick with it. Now that they know they can be in some of these, it'll really help them win some of these close ones."

Perham L 4-3

   All matches, wins or losses, lasted two sets in this one. The Pirates snagged two of the doubles matches and one singles match to complete their three victories.

    Nick Garmen beat Carter Cresap (Sr.) 6-2, 6-2 in No. 1 Singles, the No. 1 Doubles team of Blake Fee (Sr.) and Logan Wardner (Sr.) defeated Ryan Murphy (Jr.) and Elijah Schmidt (Sr.) 6-0, 6-2 and Robert (Sr.) and Tanner Janorschke (Sr.) won against Anthony Reese (Sr.) and Jordan Muench (Jr.) in No. 2 Doubles 6-4, 6-3.

    "Nick played well in both his matches," Brekken said on Garmen who won two matches. "A lot of movement, he's coming to the net a lot and moving his guys all over the court and hitting some winners."

Other Matches

No. 2 Singles

Josh Peterson (Fr.) def. Mason LaPlante (Sr.) 6-1, 6-0

No. 3 Singles

Gunnar Anderson (Jr.) def. Dilon Owens (Sr.) 6-0, 6-0

No. 4 Singles

Drew Birkeland (Jr.) def. Evan Christensen (Fr.) 6-0, 6-0

No. 3 Doubles

Dylan Fudge (Sr.)/Landon Stevens (Jr.) def. Jack Garmen (Fr.)/Mason Owens (Fr.) def. 6-4, 6-1

East Grand Forks W 4-3

   In their first matchup with East Side of the year, the Pirates dominated the singles matches winning three of four and captured one doubles match to claim their inaugural win for the 2019 season.

    Fee and Wardner teamed up again in the No. 1 Doubles slot and downed Parker Anderson (Sr.) and Justin Marciniak (Sr.) 6-2, 6-3 for their second victory of the afternoon.

    Brekken believes the return of Wardner, who missed time due to a leg injury, plays a role in the rest of the team's success.

    "We played four matches without Wardner in our lineup, and you could really kind of see the effect of that on the team," Brekken said. "Not having a top guys means everyone else has to go up and play a position they aren't normally playing."

    Nick Garmen took this No. 1 Singles match 6-1, 6-0 against Justin Smerer (Sr.), Jack Garmen handled No. 3 Singles 6-4, 6-4 over Tanner Lubinski (So.) and Mason Owens completed his first singles win of the year at No. 4 Singles beating Rudy Juarez (Sr.) 6-3, 6-1.

    "That was a huge confidence-booster for [Mason]," Brekken said. "Not familiar playing varsity very much, and he kind of likes the doubles territory. But after today, he was asking all these questions about singles strategy. It got him pretty excited to be playing singles today."

    In addition to their four individual wins, two of the Pirates' losses lasted to a third-set tiebreaker.

    "Unfortunately, we haven't been in enough of these kind of matches," Brekken said on the tiebreakers. "This could have been a 6-1 match, and thankfully, we were able to get the 4-3 victory."

Other Matches

No. 2 Singles

Josiah Gerhls (Sr.) def. Mason LaPlante (Sr.) 7-6(7-4), 2-6, 10-8

No. 2 Doubles

Blake Felch (Sr.)/Bryce Huot (Sr.) def. Tanner Janorschke (Sr.)/Robert Janorschke (Sr.) 6-3, 1-6, 10-8

No. 3 Doubles

Seth Aaker (Fr.)/Cole Gerber (So.) def. Dilon Owens (Sr.)/Evan Christensen (Fr.) 6-1, 6-1

    Crookston competes in another triangular on Monday, May 13 in Bemidji against Grand Rapids and Bemidji. Matches start at 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.

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For feedback or questions, contact the Times at (218) 281-2730, Nolan Beilstein at (940) 372-8175 or by email at nbeilstein@crookstontimes.com.