Birmingham Seaholm celebrates the program’s runner-up finish at the MHSAA Division 2 State Finals Oct. 21 at the Byron Center West Sports Complex.

Birmingham Seaholm celebrates the program’s runner-up finish at the MHSAA Division 2 State Finals Oct. 21 at the Byron Center West Sports Complex.

Photo provided by Sue Wright

Oakland County tennis teams shine at MHSAA State Finals

By: Jonathan Szczepaniak | C&G Newspapers | Published November 1, 2023

 Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood celebrates the program’s Division 3 State Championship title Oct. 21 at Kalamazoo College.

Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood celebrates the program’s Division 3 State Championship title Oct. 21 at Kalamazoo College.

Photo provided by Steve Herdoiza

 Troy High School celebrates the program’s runner-up finish at the MHSAA Division 1 State Finals at the Greater Midland Tennis Center Oct. 21.

Troy High School celebrates the program’s runner-up finish at the MHSAA Division 1 State Finals at the Greater Midland Tennis Center Oct. 21.

Photo provided by Brian Miska


OAKLAND COUNTY — It’s no secret that Oakland County has arguably the best competition for high school tennis in Michigan, and it was well represented at the top of the leaderboards when the Michigan High School Athletic Association Boys Tennis State FInals ended Oct. 21.


Bloomfield Hills
Returning as the defending state champions, Bloomfield Hills took control of Division 1 for the second straight season, as the Black Hawks took first place at the Greater Midland Tennis Center Oct. 21.

The Shayas showed out for Bloomfield Hills as junior Pierce Shaya took first in Singles Flight 2, while sophomore Connor Shaya, the defending state champion in Singles Flight 4, claimed the top spot in Singles Flight 3. Both the No. 1 seeds in their brackets, Pierce and Connor both went undefeated during the state tournament.

While Bloomfield Hills may have let off the gas in the singles competition, the Black Hawks were dominant in every aspect in the doubles flights, sweeping the tournament.

Bloomfield Hills had the No. 1 seed in every doubles flight, and the Black Hawks’ play warranted the seeding, as seniors Aaron Rose and Merrick Chernett cleaned house in Doubles Flight 1. Chernett was the defending state champion in Doubles Flight 1 after teaming with Pierce Shaya last year for the title.

Seniors Ryan Rose and Michael Dillon defended their state title in Doubles Flight 2 with a clean sweep through the tournament, while Kierth Lingam and Dominic Pascarella, who were state champions in Doubles Flight 4 last year, swept Doubles Flight 3 for the championship win. Senior Ethan Endelman and junior Asher Langwell finished first in the Doubles Flight 4.


After posting a third-place finish last season at the MHSAA Division 1 state finals, Troy returned this season to claim runner-up.

The Colts swept regionals for the third year in a row, earning their 12th-straight regional title, and they carried the momentum into the state finals.

Senior Haresh Arnand, the No. 1 seed in Singles Flight 1, finished runner-up, while junior Dhruv Gupta and sophomore Neel Nagappala were both eliminated in the semifinals in their respective flights.

Senior Derek Blackwell, who’s been an anchor at the Singles Flight 1 spot, was eliminated in round 3. Blackwell will be a key missing piece next season for Troy’s young squad

“On the court, he’s just a fighter,” Troy coach Brian Miska said. “If you’ve seen him play, sometimes it doesn’t look pretty, but he gets the job done. He’s one of those guys that if you have a bad day against him, you’re going to be in a lot of trouble.”

Troy found more success in the doubles flights, but couldn’t come up with a first-place finish as seniors Josh Samuelson and Eric Kim in Doubles Flight 2, sophomores Anthony Wu and Varun Shetty in Doubles Flight 3, and senior Jack Pawlowski and freshman Jesse Hao in Doubles Flight 4 all finished runner-up. Senior Nish Palepu and sophomore Derrick Kim were eliminated in the semifinals in Doubles Flight 1.


Birmingham Seaholm
In familiar fashion to Troy, Seaholm looked to improve on the program’s third-place finish last year at the MHSAA Division 2 State Finals, and a runner-up placement Oct. 21 at the Byron Center West Sports Complex was just that.

The Maples defended their regional title this year successfully, as their senior-heavy group of Blake Smith (2 singles), Daniel Youn (3 singles), and Mohan Badhwar and Sammy Abdo (3 doubles) all earned regional titles. Sophomore Joaquim Flory (4 singles) and the Doubles Flight 2 team of senior Sean Joyce and junior Carson Wright also earned regional title wins.

Seaholm coach Nick Shaheen said the seniors have been textbook leaders this year for his squad.

“They’ve really progressed in their poise and their confidence on the court,” Shaheen said. “We’ve always had the technical skill, but it’s always been the stuff above the shoulders that we needed to work on. It’s tough and it’s a pressure-filled situation, so I think they did a really good job of (showing) that mental toughness and that ability to adapt on the point.”

Their poise carried over into the state finals, as the Maples’ doubles came alive at the state finals.

Senior Finlay Sparby and junior Leo Kim led the way with a state championship win in the Doubles Flight 4, while Joyce and Wright, and Badhwar and Abdo both earned runner-up in their respective doubles flights at the state finals.

“We tend to pride ourselves on how tough our doubles is,” Shaheen said. “It’s something we’ve really kind of made our name in when it comes to states, and even just competing from season to season.”

Flory and Smith were both eliminated in the semifinals in their respective flights.


Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood
Unable to complete a three-peat of Division 3 state championships last season, Cranbrook Kingswood reclaimed the top spot in Division 3 Oct. 21 at Kalamazoo College.

“I think they put it all together at the state tournament,” Cranbrook coach Steve Herdoiza said. “I think when we encountered tough moments at that tournament, I think we worked our way through them really well.”

Cranbrook took command of the singles flights as senior Caden Che (2 singles), sophomore Jace Bernard (3 singles), and senior Amaan Khan (4 singles) were crowned state champions. Khan was the defending champion in Singles Flight 4, while Bernard was the defending state champion in Doubles Flight 1.

Che, Bernard, and Khan all registered a clean sweep in their brackets, and if that didn’t set the stage for a state title, Cranbrook’s doubles flights came to play.

Sophomores Cole Kirschenbaum and Kenneth Hu took the state title in the Doubles Flight 2, suffering their only set loss in the championship match.

“Last year, they were probably my six doubles team, so they were out of the lineup and in a reserve role,” Herdoiza said. “They worked so hard. I saw them playing with each other and playing in groups, and just doing off-court stuff. They really took their practices and their intensity of their practices to another level, and it’s no fluke that they were able to make that jump because they committed in the offseason to working extra hard.”

As for the duos of senior Ben Stevenson and freshman Ryan VanDyke (3 doubles), and seniors Ketan Swami and Kevin Guo (4 doubles), there wasn’t a loss to be found as both doubles went unbeaten en route to a state title.

Swami and Guo were both eliminated in the semifinals last season on separate duo pairings, but the pair came together this season to get the job done.


Detroit Country Day
A third-place team last year, Country Day’s runner-up finish at the MHSAA Division 3 State Finals is a strong testament for how well the program is set up for next season.

The Yellowjackets featured only three seniors in their starting state finals squad, two of whom were a doubles pairing.

So, the young Yellowjackets gave the state finals a go, and they shined in the spotlight.

Junior Saahith Reddy (1 singles) claimed the only singles state title, while junior Dan Marin finished runner-up in Singles Flight 2. Freshman Victor Marin (3 singles) and sophomore Kevin Ye (4 singles) were both eliminated in the semifinals.

While Country Day was unable to bring a title home in the doubles flights, junior Achyut Reddy and sophomore Charlie Khaghany (1 doubles) and juniors Thomas Bresson and John McKany (3 doubles) both earned state runner-up. Senior Oliver Aaron and sophomore Zeheng Nie (4 doubles) were eliminated in the semifinals.

With the majority of their state finals squad returning in 2024, expect the Yellowjackets to be a threat in the Division 3.


Other Notable Schools
Rochester: Finishing fourth in the MHSAA Division 1 State Finals, Rochester had impressive performances from senior Clayton Anderson (1 singles) and sophomore Chad Anderson (2 singles). Clayton and Chad both earned state runner-up in their respective flights.

Rochester Hills Stoney Creek: Ending the season with a 14th-place finish at states, Stoney Creek was able to defend its regional championship this year. Regional title singles winners for Stoney Creek were junior Andrew Vincler (1 singles), sophomore Quentin Rangi (2 singles), senior Tae Kim (3 singles), and senior Ryan Evans (4 singles). Regional title winners in doubles were seniors Ohm Kumblekere and Martin Labas (1 doubles), senior Luke Jones and junior Gideon Beers (2 doubles), sophomores Gavin Clark and JJ Vettraino (3 doubles), and senior Kayan Mehta and junior Kaden Kim.

North Farmington: Finishing 11th at states, North Farmington had a dominant showing at regionals, winning seven of the eight flights. Leading North Farmington to a regional championship were junior Jack Weingarden (2 singles), junior Hamdaan Fysudeen (3 singles), and junior Tommy Buckhave (4 singles). Doubles state title winners were senior Josh Brenner and junior Seth Cohen (1 doubles), senior Vikraant Singh and junior Alex Ashare (2 doubles), senior Sam Nemeth and junior Advay Das (3 doubles), and seniors Thomas Lavaud and Ayaan Shah (4 doubles).

Birmingham Groves: Groves earned fifth at states behind senior Nathan Lucken and junior Benji Cook winning the Doubles Flight 3 state championship. Seniors Spencer Goldberg and Jake Rosenwasser (1 doubles) and seniors Brady Glime and Alex Brown (4 doubles) were regional champions.

Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice: While Brother Rice turned in an efficient performance at the state finals, earning fifth, juniors Patrick Cretu (1 singles) and Lucas Kello (2 singles) were both regional champions. Brother Rice swept the doubles bracket at regionals with senior Charlie Grace and freshman Ben Waechter (1 doubles), sophomore Finn Rivard and freshman Ryan Brockhaus (2 doubles), junior Michael Tomlanovich and sophomore Casey Padilla (3 doubles), and junior Derek DeGrendel and sophomore Braeden Spencer (4 doubles) all earning first.