- Pam Burgess
Raiders Girls Tennis Dominates Ionia 7-1
The sun was shining on the Portland Raiders during their rescheduled tennis match on Monday against Ionia's Bulldogs. The girls started the evening 1-0 in league play and finished the night with their second league win.
Portland's No. 4 Taylor Jenks and Ionia's Gracie Cochran competed on the court for three hours in a well fought match, with Jenks defeating Cochran 4-6; 6-1; 6-4. In Doubles Portland's No. 1 Riley Thelen and Rachel VanHouten defeated Lindsey Lehman and Olivia Lower 6-0; 6-0, helping lead the way to a 7-1 victory for the Raiders. Portland's Girls Tennis team has taken the League Championship the past four years, with a 2-0 start to the season they are fighting for another championship year.
Singles No. 1 — Brooke Gregory, IONIA HIGH SCHOOL, def . Rebekah Ludema, PORTLAND HIGH SCHOOL, 6-4, 6-0
No. 2 — Ainsley Ludema, PORTLAND HIGH SCHOOL, def . Cassidy Vaarberg, IONIA HIGH SCHOOL, 6-2, 6-1
No. 3 — Kayla Weller, PORTLAND HIGH SCHOOL, def . Taylor Kirby, IONIA HIGH SCHOOL, 7-6 (3), 6-1
No. 4 — Taylor Jenks, PORTLAND HIGH SCHOOL, def . Gracie Cochran, IONIA HIGH SCHOOL, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4; Doubles No. 1 — Riley Thelen-Rachel VanHouten, PORTLAND HIGH SCHOOL, def. Lindsey Lehman-Olivia Lower,IONIA HIGH SCHOOL 6-0, 6-0
No. 2 — Maura Lufkin-Samantha Weber, PORTLAND HIGH SCHOOL, def. Tabbatha Martin-Autumn Mueller,IONIA HIGH SCHOOL 6-3, 6-0
No. 3 — Novelle Matteson-Julia Savage, PORTLAND HIGH SCHOOL, def. Anna Brown-Abigail Flanagan,IONIA HIGH SCHOOL 6-3, 6-1
No. 4 — Emily Bigelow-Dezirae Thomas, PORTLAND HIGH SCHOOL, def. Hannah Lennemann-Kelsey Melvin,IONIA HIGH SCHOOL 7-6 (4), 6-1
After the match, coach Jim Niebling said, “Today we improved to 2-0 in the league after a good win over a much improved Ionia team. They challenged us in many flights and kept first sets tight, but we the girls stayed focused on executing and earned the win. The match of the day goes to Taylor Jenks. She played a very steady three hour match to outlast her opponent who is her mirror image in many ways. Taylor's thoughtfulness and court awareness is turning her into a very tough opponent.”