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Muskie, Owl 'birders' impress in tune-up for NorWOSSA qualifier

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Members of the Muskie and Rainy River Owls badminton teams were able to fine tune their games and see what they are going to be up against this season in NorWOSSA play at an exhibition tournament last Wednesday in Atikokan.

The Muskies and Owls put in some impressive performances and were able to identify any areas of weakness heading into the NorWOSSA qualifier today in Atikokan.

“Overall I thought that the day went very well,” said Owls' coach Guy Arpin.

“With so many new players, our goal was to get our feet wet and see where we needed to improve for the qualifier—that goal was achieved,” he added.

Jackson Arpin of the Owls had the best showing of both teams, finishing first in senior boys' singles with a perfect 8-0 record.

His teammate, Morgan Desserre, wound up fifth at 2-6.

Muskies Tayah Badiuk and Lauryn Marchant took second in senior girls' doubles with a 7-2 record.

The Owls' duo of Kayla Michl and Mackenzie Jolicouer finished fourth with a 0-9 showing.

In junior girls' singles, Owls Katelyn Brown (4-2) and Kirsten Armstrong (3-3), placed third and fourth, respectively.

Muskie Emma Stainke wound up sixth (1-5).

The Rainy River pair of Tyson Maki (2-4) and Cameron Brown (1-5), finished fifth and sixth, respectively in junior boys' singles.

The Owls' duo of Naomi Carradice and Caleb Jack-Gibbins (5-3) took second in junior mixed doubles while teammates Kiera Govier and Joe Tiboni (4-4) were third.

“For many of our players, this was their first tournament,” noted Arpin of the Owls.

“Seeing others teams of varying abilities was good for them.”

Muskie Isabella Ward finished third in senior girls' singles while Owls Paige Stamler and Aubree McQuaker both tied for fourth.

The Muskie junior girls' doubles tandem of Issy Taylor and Piper Danylchuk wound up fourth (1-3) in the four-team field.

Muskies Brett Schram and Jake McKinnon teamed up to place third in junior boys' doubles (5-3) while the Owls' Kevin Abbott and Adrian Trenchard were fourth (3-5) and Mike Vogan and Jack Wood were fifth (2-6).

The Muskie duo of Ty Wagar and Marcus Morriseau went winless and wound up sixth (0-8).

In senior mixed doubles, Rainy River's Aynsley Williams and Liam Pearson finished tied for second with fellow teammates Carlin Drennan and Micaela Jolicouer with an identical 3-5 record.

Muskies Andrea Schram and Sean Huziak finished last with a 1-8 record.

And in senior boys' doubles, the Muskie duo of Dakota Jernberg and Ryley Booth teamed up to finish third in the four-team field with a 4-5 record.

What was the mindset of the Owls heading into the NorWOSSA qualifier today?

“Work hard, have fun, do your best, and lets the chips fall where they may,” Arpin stressed.

“It is such a short season that there is little time to make large changes,” he conceded.

“We focus on a couple areas to work on with each team and run with it.”

At the qualifier, players must place in the top three in their respective divisions in order to move on to the NorWOSSA championships in Dryden next Wednesday (April 17).

Then in Dryden, they must place in the top two to qualify for the NWOSSAA championships in Thunder Bay on April 24.

From there, the top two finishers in each event qualify for OFSAA, which is slated for May 2-4 in North Bay.

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