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Pirates make rapid work of Panthers, continue unbeaten start

Jacob Shames
Crookston Times
Hayden Winjum eyes the ball in her win at No. 2 singles Tuesday. Winjum helped Crookston to a 6-1 win over Park Rapids.

Crookston girls' tennis coach Cody Brekken was kneeling down in front of a dry-erase board, writing in his team's scores after another dominant win, when Leah Winjum approached with something to add.

Leah's daughter, Hayden, ever a good sportsperson, had just told her she'd won the first set of her match 6-2, not 6-1.

Not that this correction made the Pirates' win look any less dominant.

Crookston rolled to a 6-1 win over Park Rapids on Tuesday at CHS, improving to 3-0 on the season following easy wins over Roseau and East Grand Forks last week.

Once again, the Pirates' depth was key to their success. Their margins of victory didn't get any less the farther down the lineup — while Winjum (Jr.) won 6-2, 6-0 at No. 2 singles, the No. 3 doubles pairing of Abby Borowicz (So.) and Brekken Tull (Fr.) didn't let the Panthers take a game off them.

"It really just shows the strides they've been making in practice, just pushing each other," Brekken said.

This allowed Crookston to roll even on a day where top singles player Catherine Tiedemann (Sr.) fell 6-1, 6-1 to a formidable opponent in Park Rapids' Abby Morris, who kept the powerful Tiedemann off-schedule with an array of floaters.

"Catherine didn't play her best tennis today," Brekken said. "... But we've got more weeks to go and more things to build on."

Outside of Tiedemann's loss, the Pirates dropped just 14 games. Halle Winjum (Fr.) cruised to a win at No. 3 singles, while Addie Fee (8) routed her opponent in her first singles match of the season at No. 4.

Juniors Emma Osborn and Hannah Lindemoen slotted in together for the first time this season, at No. 1 doubles, and took home a win. Emma Gunderson (Fr.) and Halle Bruggeman (So.), also a new pairing this season, had a relatively challenging opening set before stepping on the gas in the second to win 6-4, 6-0.

"I saw lots of improvement in the doubles positioning today, where they were putting the ball," Brekken said. "They were getting easy ones at the net and putting those away cross-court."

On an overcast, occasionally drizzly afternoon with wind gusts of around 30 mph, Brekken was also impressed with Crookston's ability to adjust to the weather. 

"If you play timid in the wind and try to guide shots, it's going to show," he said. "They came out and played confidently. ... (The weather) can change the game a lot. If you're cold out here and you don't wanna be out here, it can really affect the game."

Safe to say, all 10 Pirates on Tuesday wanted to be out there.

"It's good to be so deep, because then every (player) can push each other every practice, and you build on that and the culture of, 'Hey, we need to stick around, hit more and beat each other to get spots,' " Brekken said. "It really feeds into getting an all-around good team."

UP NEXT: The Pirates will go on the road for the second time this season when they take on Perham on Thursday.


  • No. 1 singles: Abby Morris (Park Rapids) def. Catherine Tiedemann 6-1, 6-1
  • No. 2 singles: Hayden Winjum (Crookston) def. Mickey Clark 6-2, 6-0
  • No. 3 singles: Halle Winjum (Crookston) def. Cassidy Bera 6-1, 6-1
  • No. 4 singles: Addie Fee (Crookston) def. Natalie Harvey 6-1, 6-2
  • No. 1 doubles: Emma Osborn and Hannah Lindemoen (Crookston) def. Macy Goochey and Morgan Keppelman 6-1, 6-2
  • No. 2 doubles: Emma Gunderson and Halle Bruggeman (Crookston) def. Abby Runyan and Shailyn Hayes 6-4, 6-0
  • No. 3 doubles: Abby Borowicz and Brekken Tull (Crookston) def. Hannah Morgan and Taylor Dravis 6-0, 6-0

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