Nick Garmen, Blake Fee and Jack Garmen picked up singles and doubles wins in the two team losses.

    The Pirates made their way to Thief River Falls to take part in their first outdoor matches of the 2018 season. In the triangular matches, Crookston took losses to Detroit Lakes 5-2 and Thief River Falls 7-0.

    Head Coach Cody Brekken acknowledged the unfavorable weather, but said he hopes his team reaches a point where they are not fazed by weather.  

    “I think the elements did play a factor in today’s matches in Thief River today,” Brekken said. “It was cold and breezy for all the teams there, but it seemed to effect us a little more than it did to Thief River Falls or Detroit Lakes. This is something I want to address as mental toughness, a critical characteristic one must have in tennis.”

    Crookston’s two wins against Detroit Lakes came from Nick Garmen in first singles and the duo of Blake Fee and Jack Garmen in first doubles.

    Garmen won his match in two sets with 6-1 and 6-4 victories. Fee and Garmen needed to play comeback after dropping their first set 7-5. The two retaliated with a 6-4 win which forced a third set tiebreaker. The third set went past the usual 10, but Fee and Garmen came out on top winning 12-10 to take the match.

    Logan Wardner dropped his second singles match in two sets as did Tanner Janorschke and Brandon Boetcher in third and fourth singles respectively.

    In second doubles, Logan Schultz and Robert Janorschke came up short in two sets. The third doubles team of Chris Kazmierczak and Logan Johnson also lost in two sets to result in the 5-2 win for Detroit Lakes.

    Brekken stressed the need to overcome the abnormal weather conditions as he expects weather to play a factor in future matches.

    “I do still put a lot of value in matches like these because, yes, it will be warmer in later matches, but external factors of any sort  including wind, sun or sub-par playing surfaces are mental roadblocks we need to be able to get over in any match,” Brekken said.

    In the loss to Thief River Falls, only the first doubles team of Fee and Wardner forced a third set tiebreaker by winning the first 6-4.

    “Our doubles play at the top gels really well,” Brekken said. “Blake and Logan have played together a lot in the past and carry some of the  most experience on our team which I will really rely on as the season goes on.”

    The Pirates record dropped to 1-4, but Brekken noticed strides being made in the young season.

    “I have seen improvements in consistency across the board,” Brekken said. “We are hitting more longer rallies and keeping the ball in play more often. We need to keep back to the basics with some of our doubles positioning and where we are hitting our shots. Overall, I saw lots of good things from the boys and I’m excited to build off some of our play in our matches today.”

    Crookston will next play in a quadrangular in Alexandria on Saturday, April 21. Crookston will play at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.