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St. Clair Shores

May 15, 2013

Lakeview girls tennis team wins MAC Gold, captures second straight league title

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

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The St. Clair Shores Lakeview girls tennis team won the MAC Silver Division title and the division meet. Pictured is No. 2 singles player and senior Leah Willoughby during an April 29 match against East Detroit High.

St. Clair Shores Lakeview girls tennis coach Colette Buckberry has turned the varsity program into one to be reckoned with.

In three years as Lakeview coach, Buckberry has guided Lakeview to two straight division titles, with the Huskies winning the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division title this year after winning the Silver in 2012.

Lakeview had two non-league matches left in the regular season — both of which were played after press time — against Warren Mott and Clinton Township Chippewa Valley.

“I’m just incredibly fortunate because I have an outstanding group of girls,” said Buckberry, whose team had an unblemished 5-0 record at press time, with all of its matches coming inside the MAC Gold.

“They always work hard. They never make excuses. They’re very intrinsically motivated. They want to do well. We’ve got a lot of upperclassmen on the team who’ve been playing for a while, and that helps, too.”

Eleven of the 15 players on the Lakeview roster are seniors — most of whom were a part of the squad that went undefeated in winning the MAC Silver last year.

Two of those seniors — captains Leah Willoughby and Leah Golembiewski — serve as the leaders, according to Buckberry. The Lakeview coach said those two serve as huge motivators for their teammates.

“Just the way they play, you can tell, even if they don’t say it, that they want to do well and they expect the same thing out of their teammates, and that kind of raises the level of play of the entire group,” Buckberry said.

Buckberry said a strong work ethic has played a big role in the Huskies’ success. She said her players constantly work on ways to improve their games, along with maintaining a strong focus.

“And I don’t have to (push them) to work hard because they do that on their own,” Buckberry said.

Lakeview’s focus now shifts to the 2013 Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 2 regionals, set for 8 a.m. May 17 at Lakefront Park in Grosse Pointe.

Buckberry said the regular season is important, in terms of building momentum toward the postseason, adding that regionals present an element of unpredictability. The Huskies’ coach reiterated how important staying focused is to postseason success.

“Just take every match and every single point even, seriously, and understand that, at regionals, it’s now or never for every single team,” Buckberry said. “So everyone is going to be putting their all into it, and even if we play a team we had a win over in the regional season, that doesn’t mean anything at regionals.

“It’s all about staying focused.”

For information on regional matchups, check www.mhsaa.com.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jason Carmel Davis at jdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1107. Twitter Follow Jason on Twitter.