Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood celebrates its Division III state tennis title at the Michigan High School Athletics Association State Championship at Midland Tennis Center and Midland High School June 3.

Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood celebrates its Division III state tennis title at the Michigan High School Athletics Association State Championship at Midland Tennis Center and Midland High School June 3.

Photo provided by Grant Asher


Cranbrook Kingswood tennis returns to winning ways, wins Division III state championship

By: Jonathan Szczepaniak | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published June 22, 2022

BLOOMFIELD HILLS — Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood tennis not only returned to their championship-winning ways June 4 at Midland Tennis Center and Midland High School, but they made a statement to the rest of Division III.

Cranbrook Kingswood (37 points) outpointed second-place Chelsea by 16 points to win the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division III State Championship.

Cranbrook Kingswood, who won five-straight titles from 2011-2015, now has nine Division III championships to its credit.

Following three-straight runner-up finishes in the state finals and its last title in 2015, Cranbrook Kingswood came into this season motivated behind its senior captains to end the championship drought.

“We try not to talk about it so we can stay focused, and we try to emphasize the results,” Cranbrook Kingswood coach Grant Asher said. “I think it’s always in the back of our heads; I really wanted it for the seniors.”

Senior Charlotte Brown didn’t surrender a set en route to claiming her second-straight flight No. 2 state championship.

Senior Gaby Levine teamed up with freshman Chloe Qin to earn a runner-up finish in the flight No. 1 doubles.

“They’ve brought some amazing leadership as my captains,” Asher said. “We’re going to miss that.”

Cranbrook Kingswood won 6-of-8 flights with freshman Yenna Park (flight No. 1), sophomore Sienna Ilitch (flight No. 3), sophomore Olivia Zhang (flight No. 4), and Brown sweeping the singles.

Qin and Park were named co-most valuable players at the tournament.

Cranbrook Kingswood’s young core provided first-place finishes in doubles with freshman Ava Clogg and sophomore Grace Zhang earning first in flight No. 3, and sophomores Daryn Krause and Kayli Lala taking first in flight No. 4.

Freshman Chiarra Martella, who paired with junior Morgan Dresner-Hagaman in the flight No. 2 doubles, said it was an experience she’ll never forget.

“I know, even for me, it was a huge deal winning states my freshman year,” Martella said. “Even seeing my two senior captains; it was such a happy feeling.”

Now holding the target on its back, Cranbrook Kingswood returns a youthful team next season with only two starters graduating and one starter entering their senior year.

Asher said it’s a culture that prides itself on continuing the Cranbrook Kingswood legacy.

“We talk about it all the time; we talk about the history of Cranbrook and who came before us,” Asher said. “People lay the foundation for this team, and they have a responsibility to carry the torch and represent themselves.

“I think the culture is back.”