Chaney, Muller find success at Minnesota Duluth

The two are 2022 graduates of Pequot Lakes and members of the UMD tennis team

Megan Muller.jpg
Pequot Lakes graduate Megan Muller returns a volley for the Minnesota Duluth tennis team.
Contributed / University of Minnesota Duluth

DULUTH — Joining a college sports team can be a challenge for young athletes. In addition to being in a new setting, one must now strike a balance between excelling in new, more difficult classes while also acclimating to a new team and new teammates.

Now imagine one of your old teammates is one of your new teammates, and is also your roommate.

Such is the case for Pequot Lakes graduates and University of Minnesota-Duluth tennis players Carly Chaney and Megan Muller.

“It is actually working out perfectly,” Chaney said. “It is super nice because we have each other, and that is kind of how we got to know other people for the most part. It definitely made the first couple of weeks at college easy.”

Muller, daughter of Mike and Jen Muller, and Chaney, daughter of Jay and Melissa Chaney, both graduated from Pequot Lakes in 2022, where they were the No. 1 and No. 2 singles players, respectively, on the Patriot tennis team.


Both multi-sport athletes, they chose to pursue tennis success at the next level because of the individuality the sport can provide.

“It’s an individual sport, but at the end of the day it all counts toward the team, so it feels like a team sport in that aspect,” Muller said. “But while you're playing, it's more individual and you kind of just rely on yourself, unless you're playing doubles.”

The two both said they look back fondly on their time with the Patriots, particularly the guidance of head coach Monica Sergent and the camaraderie of the athletes.

“It was a bigger team than (UMD) is now, but we still got super close to everyone,” Muller said. “There was so much team bonding. That was probably my favorite part about it.”

Carly Chaney.jpg
Pequot Lakes alum Carly Chaney had an 11-match winning streak in her first year with the Bulldogs.
Contributed / University of Minnesota Duluth

Now members of the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, the two have had to get used to a slightly different structure to how the sport they love is played.

“You play both doubles and singles, rather than just one or the other, so that’s different,” Chaney said. “I like it though. It’s really fun.”

There are changes to the scoring as well at the collegiate level. The three doubles matches combine to net a team one point, meaning two of three doubles teams have to win to net the Bulldogs one point.

“Basically, doubles is only one point, so you win the doubles then there are six singles and those all count as a point,” Muller said. “Scoring is a bit different, so that was definitely something to adjust to. Honestly, I like how it’s scored.”


Throughout this new experience, Chaney and Muller have been able to rely on each other to help them along. The two even have similar class schedules and will often drive to practice together.

“We warm up together quite a bit,” Chaney said. “Megan's style is more hard-hitting and I'm kind of more of a consistent player, so we kind of balance off each other, I guess, when we play each other. It really helps both of us.”

On top of adjusting to playing both singles and doubles, as well as adapting to the change in scoring, Muller and Chaney also had to acclimate themselves to the transition from high school tennis — where the two saw plenty of success — to the college level where their opponents have likely seen just as much success.

“Every once in a while (at the high school level), you would play a team that just wasn’t so good,” Chaney said. “Just about every time in Division II tennis, you are playing someone who is pretty dang good … It takes more dedication, for sure. It is a lot of time management, but it has been really fun.”

Muller echoed that sentiment, saying the jump to college tennis has made the sport more of a challenge.

“Every single weekend that we have played teams, they are all just fantastic players,” Muller said. “Playing against someone that's gonna better you every single weekend is super fun.”

Despite this, the two have already found success in the early days of their college tennis careers. Muller won her first four matches for the Bulldogs, and Chaney set a new team record with an 11-match win streak, shattering the Bulldogs’ previous record of eight straight wins.

“I was so excited,” Chaney said. “I was trying to just take a deep breath every match because I knew I didn’t want to lose or lose the streak. But it is so awesome to have broken the streak. Maybe next year I'm going to go for it again. We'll see how it goes … but it was so fun and my teammates were really supportive.”


The Bulldogs’ season came to a close when they fell to Augustana University 4-0 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference quarterfinals on Friday, April 21. That said, this is just a first step for the two, who consider themselves lucky to be in this together.

“We have just been through everything together,” Chaney said. “Beginning the year together and getting more comfortable with everybody around us — while also having each other — has just been so great overall. I am so happy with where we are right now.”

Dan Determan, sports writer/staff writer, may be reached at 218-855-5879 or . Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at .

Dan Determan has been a reporter for the Echo Journal since 2014, primarily covering sports at Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus
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