Vikings lose narrowly to CEC, 4-3
The North Branch girls tennis team nearly defeated Cloquet-Esko-Carlton at a home triangular on Saturday, after falling 1-6 to Hibbing-Chisholm and Hermantown last Tuesday to start the 2014 season.
Senior Britta Anderson won at No. 2 singles for the Vikings against CEC, while ninth-grader Natalie Olinske added another team point at No. 3 singles, winning 6-2, 1-6 (11-9).
Ninth-grader Alexis Schuster captured the third win at No. 4 singles with a score of 6-0, 6-2.
CEC swept the host team in doubles, but senior No. 1 singles player Janice Elkerton nearly earned the fourth team point in a close loss, 6-2, 2-6 (5-10).
“It was one of those things where we didn’t know how close we were to winning, since the play was so gradual,” head coach Tom McLaughlin said.
Elkerton came back fighting in the next matchup against Andover and recorded the lone team point in the 1-6 loss at No. 1 singles. Elkerton won 7-5, 6-4.
McLaughlin said his young squad, consisting of just one senior, one junior and nine sophomores and freshman, will continue to face some stiff competition throughout the year.
“We’ve got a lot of beginners coming up,” he said. “This bunch of girls is going to contribute; they’re going to have to.”
The Vikings hosted Princeton on Tuesday and next travel to Rogers for a 3:45 p.m. matchup Thursday.