Liggett tennis finishes tied for third; North, South in action

By: Mark Vest | Grosse Pointe Times | Published October 25, 2012

 University Liggett took third place in the Division 4 state finals. Pictured is Liggett freshman Jack Ninivaggi.

University Liggett took third place in the Division 4 state finals. Pictured is Liggett freshman Jack Ninivaggi.

Photo by Sean Diaz

Prep boys tennis teams wrapped up their seasons in the state final tournaments Oct. 19-20 at various sites across the state.
In local action, Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett had the best finish, placing tied for third overall among Division 4 teams at Kalamazoo College after totaling 16 points. Ann Arbor Greenhills won the title with 36 points.

Singles players Garrett Mallires (No. 1), Phillip Pierce II (No. 2), Alec Petitpren (No. 3) and Patrick Diaz (No. 4) all picked up points for Liggett. Diaz had the most individual success, going to the quarterfinals.

James Jurcak/Neil Jordan (No.1 doubles), Alan Jurcak/August Bonacci (No. 2 doubles), Steven Kneiser/Matthew Ninivaggi (No. 3 doubles) and John Ninivaggi/Vijay Policherla (No. 4) also picked up victories for Liggett. The No. 4 team was a semifinalist.

According to coach Drew Mascarin, the Knights, who he said were ranked as the No. 2 team in the state for the majority of the season, received contributions from every player on the team at some point during their 2012 campaign.

“The boys had a great season,” he said. “There wasn’t one person carrying the team this year. Everyone stepped in (at) different matches and helped us have a successful year. Going into the states ranked No. 2, obviously we had a successful year.”

Mascarin believes the Knights may have the pieces in place to make another strong run next season.

“We had 15 boys on the team this year, and we graduate five,” he said. “We should have a very strong team going forward.”

In other local tennis action:
Grosse Pointe North finished in a tie for 12th in the Division 2 state final, which took place at Holly/Fenton. The Norsemen picked up six points along the way. Midland Dow won the team title with 23 points. 

Taking the court for the Norsemen were Bryan Butts (No. 1 singles), Bobby Mulpuri (No. 2, quarterfinalist), Jake Zacharias (No. 3, quarterfinalist) and Matthew Kain (No. 4, quarterfinalist).

Jeremy Harr and Grant Shaheen teamed up at No. 1 doubles; Nick Cusmano and Connor Olzem won their opening match at No. 2 doubles before falling to U of D; Tom Vismara and Josh Champney took the court at No. 3 doubles; and Jack Josefiak and Tom Rafaill played No. 4.

Grosse Pointe South also made a trip to the state finals and finished tied for 22nd after totaling one point in the Division 1 tourney, which was held at the Midland Tennis Center.

South’s No. 2 singles player, Colden Gosselin, picked up the point after defeating Ann Arbor Pioneer in his opening-round match.

After his team played its last match of the season, coach John Willard was able to put South’s season in perspective. 

“The kids gave a great effort,” he said. “Basically, we had two goals. First one was to win the division championship (Macomb Area Conference Red Division), which we did, and the second goal was to make it to states. So we were happy to make it. The kids did a great job this season. We have a talented team, and almost everyone’s going to return next year, so we’re looking forward to success again next year.”   

For more on the finals, visit