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Shelby Township

October 24, 2012

Ike’s Covalschi takes title

Eisenhower senior wins Division 1 tennis state championship

By Jon Malavolti
C & G Sports Writer

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Ike senior Ed Covalschi won the Division 1 tennis No. 1 singles state title.

Eisenhower senior Ed Covalschi had one goal in mind heading into this year’s tennis season — win a state championship.

Mission accomplished.

Covalschi, who’s committed to play for the University of Notre Dame next year, won all four of his matches at the Oct. 19-20 Division 1 finals at the Midland Community Tennis Center.

“It was definitely state title or bust,” Covalschi said. “I played high school tennis to win a state championship; that was my main goal.”

A USTA player, Covalschi joined the Ike tennis team just this year.

“He’s done all the right things,” Ike coach Kevin Donahue said. “He’s been a very dedicated athlete. He’s a great kid, good teammate. It’s something special to be part of.”

Covalschi was the No. 2 seeded player at the finals. He received a first-round bye, and then proceeded to win all four of his matches. In the semifinals, he beat the 2010 state champ Brett Forman of Troy, 6-7 (4), 6-3 and 6-2. He then defeated last year’s state champ and No. 1 seed Tyler Gardiner of Northville 6-2, 7-5 in the final.

“I thought he was the better player, and he proved that on the court,” Donahue said. “He was very impressive in his four wins. He’s just so consistent. As the competition got better, he got better, as well.”

Covalschi was especially grateful to everyone around him.

“I want to thank my family, the team, the team’s parents and coaches for being so supportive,” he said.

He was glad he ended up joining the Eagles’ squad.

“The team was great to me,” Covalschi said. “They were really nice from day one. They encouraged me throughout the season. I tried to help them as much as I can. Throughout the season, we became closer and closer. It was great to be part of a team.”

Covalschi said he’s working hard, practicing every single day to accomplish his next goals, winning a national championship at Notre Dame and eventually turning pro.

He wasn’t the only member of the Eagles’ squad to have success at the state finals. Ike finished tied for 12th in the 24-team final standings, scoring seven points. Ann Arbor Huron (33 points) won the D-1 team title.

Sophomore Mike Evans won his first-round match in the No. 3 singles flight before losing to the eventual state runner-up in the next round. And No. 4 doubles team Danny Scrivano and KJ Wilk, also both sophomores, won their first-round match before falling to an eventual quarterfinalist team.

“I thought the team performed very well,” Donahue said. “We were very competitive at all flights. A couple bounces went our way, and unfortunately, a couple didn’t. Overall, it was a really good performance and strong finish as a team.”

The coach also noted that No. 2 singles player Matt Lietz and No. 2 doubles team member Mitch Danowski both wrapped up excellent four-year varsity careers at Ike.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jon Malavolti at jmalavolti@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1040. Twitter Follow Jon on Twitter.