Oakland County tennis with strong showing in state finals

By: Christian Davis | C&G Newspapers | Published June 11, 2013

Oakland County girls tennis served up aces at the state finals June 1 at locations across the state.

Of the four divisions, three state championship teams call Oakland County home, along with 20 of the 32 flight winners.

Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood coach Jeff Etterbeek said playing the other local strong programs in the area during the regular season helps prepare everyone for the postseason.

“Those are great schools and have great depth,” he said. “Having that competition all the way up and down the line really helps all of our players get mentally stronger.”

Bloomfield Hills Sacred Heart coach Judy Hehs agreed and added that the teams from Oakland County “encourage one another.”

“There’s a tremendous amount of talent here, and the kids know each other from summer tennis, indoor tennis, so even when we play dual meets around here, the kids have a lot of camaraderie from this area,” she said. “You get on the court and it’s competitive, and then you go share a snack after a match.”

Here’s a look at each division and all the local athletes who battled for state championships.

Division 1 at Midland Community Tennis Center
Port Huron Northern just edged Farmington Hills Mercy for the team total. Northern finished with 24 points, two ahead of the Marlins.

Grosse Pointe South and Clarkston High tied for third with 20 points.

The rest of the D-1 tournament field included Northville High (14), Traverse City Central (13), Ann Arbor Pioneer (13), Ann Arbor Huron (12), West Bloomfield High (11), Midland Dow (10), Troy (9), Hudsonville High (8), Novi High (8), Holland West Ottawa (4), Livonia Stevenson (3), Saline (3), Utica High (3), Hartland High (2), Troy Athens (2), Livonia Franklin (1), Dearborn High (0), Grand Blanc High (0), Kalamazoo Central (0) and Utica Eisenhower (0).

At No. 4 singles, South’s Madie Flournoy beat Mercy’s Jessie Guindi 6-3, 0-6, 6-2 in the final.

Mercy’s Anna Hinrichs and Mackenzie Zierau were tops at No. 2 doubles, besting Northern’s Jenna Brettschneider and Maddie Neaton 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.

Northville’s Shannon Williams and Libby Quinn beat Mercy’s Julie Flanagan and Sarah Hinrichs 6-2, 6-4 for the No. 4 title.

Division 2 at Holly and Grand Blanc
It was Bloomfield Hills Marian’s day, finishing with 28 points. Birmingham Seaholm was second with 23 and Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern was third with 21.

Rounding out the D-2 field were Bloomfield Hills Andover (19), Okemos High (15), Portage Central (12), Bloomfield Hills Lahser (12), Battle Creek Lakeview (10), East Lansing (10), Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central (10), Mason High (10), East Grand Rapids (10), North Farmington (7), Fenton High (5), Grosse Pointe North (5), Riverview High (4), Richland Gull Lake (4), Allen Park High (2), St. Clair Shores Lakeview (2), Dearborn Heights Crestwood (0) and Holly High (0).

Lahser’s Mollie Fox won No. 1 singles, beating Gull Lake’s Sara Remynse 7-5, 4-6, 6-4.

At No. 2 singles, Okemos’ Emily Struble defeated Marian’s Lauren Dietz 6-2, 6-0.

Marian’s Breann Lunghamer won the No. 3 crown, beating Seaholm’s Claire Markley 6-3, 6-2.

At No. 4, Lahser’s Meryl Reams defeated Marian’s Catherine Yaldoo 6-1, 6-1.

In doubles, Seaholm’s Nancy Benda and Jackie Meir beat Northern’s Victoria Minzlaff and Shelby Moored 6-4, 6-4 for the No. 1 title.

At No. 2, Marian’s Tatyanna Dababbo and Sally Thorensen were tops against Seaholm’s Rachel Wilson and Laine Boitos 6-1, 7-6.

Seaholm’s Lauren Benderoff and Sam Lareau were the best at No. 4, beating Andover’s Charlotte Garrison and Madison Lorenz 6-2, 6-1.

Division 3 at Holland
Cranbrook kept its streak alive in D-3, winning its third straight championship, this time with 39 points.

Allegan High gave chase with 23 and Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day finished with 19 for third.

“I thought all of our girls played to their potential and really put it together when they needed to,” Etterbeek said. “Anytime you go in favored … consciously or subconsciously, you play not to lose, and that’s always more difficult than playing to win. … Our goal was to go play our very best. I think when that’s our focus, it’s easier to have a positive mentality going into a pressure situation.”

Rounding out the rest of the field were Ada Forest Hills Eastern (17), St Clair High (16), Holland Christian (14), Grand Rapids Catholic Central (13), Haslett High (11), Grand Rapids South Christian (10), Cadillac High (7), Spring Lake High (7), Edwardsburg (6), DeWitt High (5), Whitehall High (4), Battle Creek Harper Creek (3), Chelsea High (3), Trenton High (3), Parma Western (2), Armada High (1), Sturgis High (1), Carleton-Airport (0), Charlotte High (0), Niles High (0) and Warren Regina.

The Cranes dominated, winning seven of the total eight flights, including all four singles matchups.

Alexandria Najarian won at No. 1 singles; Anna Short was tops at No. 2; Allison Motea beat Country Day’s Haley Mullins at No. 3; and Sarah Lipworth defeated Country Day’s Sarah Carroll at No. 4.

In doubles, Cranbrook won three flights, with Kendra Sweet and Christina Roualet taking the No. 2 crown; Briana Latica and Holly Meers prevailing at No. 3; and Lauren Lanzon and Emily Harvey taking the title at No. 4.

At No. 1 doubles, Alissa Rowens and Mag Phyle finished runner-up.

Division 4 at Kalamazoo College
Sacred Heart defended its state title, coming away with 29 points. Grosse Ile High was second with 26 and Traverse City St. Francis was third with 17.

Hehs said she returned 10 of 12 girls from last season’s team, but also added three freshmen who contributed right away.

“They were outstanding — not only outstanding, but as I watched these girls, especially the freshmen in front of all the fans with the cheering and jeering, those kids held it together and did what they were supposed to do,” she said. “Then for those six seniors, they could have easily been loose and not integrated into the team with the younger girls, but they really invested into making sure their legacy continued.”

Rounding out the rest of the D-4 field were Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard (16), Kalamazoo
Christian (16), Williamston High (14), Lansing Catholic (13), Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central (12), Portland High (10), Jackson Lumen Christi (9), Grandville Calvin Christian (7), Niles Brandywine (7), North Muskegon (7), Harbor Springs (6), Grand Rapids North Pointe Christian (5), Kalamazoo Hackett (5), Ludington High (5), Paw Paw (4), Berrien Springs (3), Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett (3), Frankenmuth High (2), Hemlock High (2), Saginaw Nouvel (2) and Clarkston Everest Collegiate (0).

The Gazelles won a total of five flights, including Tate Lehmann at No. 4 singles.

Sacred Heart dominated at doubles, winning all four finals with Kelsey Nagle and Emily Nash proving to be the best at No. 1; Sarah Spangler and Heidi Lemon claimed the No. 2 crown; Kendall Lehmann and Hannah Gerard prevailed at No. 3; and Elia Wilson and Gretchen Lemon battled for the title at No. 4.