Lakeland’s Anna Maulson hits a serve during a doubles match against Medford at the Medford High School tennis courts Thursday, Aug. 30. Maulson, paired with Hayley Fieck at No. 1 doubles, lost in straight sets to the team of Lauryn Strick and Mariah Leader.
Lakeland’s Anna Maulson hits a serve during a doubles match against Medford at the Medford High School tennis courts Thursday, Aug. 30. Maulson, paired with Hayley Fieck at No. 1 doubles, lost in straight sets to the team of Lauryn Strick and Mariah Leader.
The Lakeland Union High School girls’ tennis team picked up a win at No. 1 singles and had some competitive matches in doubles, but were unable to get by the Raiders on Thursday afternoon, dropping a Great Northern Conference dual 6-1 at Medford High School. 
The T-Birds lone win of the day came at No. 1 singles, where Reilly Coon avenged a straight-set loss earlier in the season to Medford’s Grace Geiger, defeating her 6-4, 7-6 (1). 
“Reilly stayed consistent with her hitting and she was able to move Gracie around, placing the ball in the corners,” Lakeland coach Tom Oestreich said. “When it got to the tiebreaker at the end, we had a little chat about staying strong with our final points in the tiebreaker because sometimes, when you get to the end of a match, you get tight. That happened in the prior game going into the tiebreaker. Reilly just kept hitting the ball with confidence, Gracie got tight and (Reilly) was able to win the tiebreaker.”
Lakeland juggled its doubles lineup again and hung with the Raiders, who are historically strong in doubled. Anna Maulson moved from No. 2 singles to play with Hayley Fieck in the top doubles flight as they fell 6-3, 6-1 to the Medford team of Lauryn Strick and Mariah Leader, who were part of second-place finishes in the GNC last year for Medford at Nos. 1 and 2 doubles, respectively. 
“I moved Anna Maulson to No. 1 doubles to play with Hayley for several reasons, but for her to have a positive experience out on the tennis court,” Oestreich said. “She did want to try playing doubles, so we tried that. Obviously they came up short, but they were competitive with them. Medford’s first doubles is very good. They move well on the court and both attack at the net. You can’t have many errors against them but Hayley and Anna did very well for their first time playing together in a conference match.”
Kiah Guthrie and Julie Neuberg at No. 2 doubles hung with Hailey Kollmansberger and Elaine Schumacher — a pairing that placed second in the conference last year at No. 3 doubles — before falling 6-3, 7-5.
“They were actually up in that set and unfortunately lost it, but some positive things there in the second set,” Oestreich said.
Medford breezed through the other three singles flights as Lakeland’s Linnea Turner, Isis Ramirez and Bailey Fox lost in straight sets. Brie Nimsgern and Cierra Hayman lost in straight sets at No. 3 doubles. 
The loss dropped Lakeland to 0-3 in the Great Northern Conference as it hit the Labor Day Weekend break, the unofficial halfway point of the girls’ tennis season. 
Oestreich said his team is progressing in practice. Now it’s just a matter of getting that progress to carry over into matches.
“What we’re seeing is the girls are improving in practice with their hitting,” he said. “The day before this match the girls were hitting the ball with some nice pace in practice. They just need to get the confidence to continue to do it in a match. It takes time with that. Sometimes you get into a match and get a little tight and just start hitting your safety shots back over the net. We need to see that confidence from practice switch over to the matches, and that will come with time.”
Lakeland kicks off a home stand this afternoon as it takes on Ashland in a non-conference match at the LUHS tennis courts. The T-Birds will host Phillips on Thursday and then GNC rivals Medford, Wausau Newman and Pacelli in an invite this coming Saturday. 
Jeremy Mayo may be reached at jeremy
@rivernewsonline.com.