Ford II girls tennis steps up to win divisional tournament title

By: Sue Teggart | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published May 25, 2011

 Utica Ford II senior No. 1 singles Rebecca Beloungea serves up a ball during the May 10 MAC Blue divisional meet. The Falcons claimed the divisional championship with 27 points.

Utica Ford II senior No. 1 singles Rebecca Beloungea serves up a ball during the May 10 MAC Blue divisional meet. The Falcons claimed the divisional championship with 27 points.

Photo by Deb Jacques

Advertisement

A strong singles performance is just what the Utica Ford II girls tennis team needed to lead it to a divisional title during the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division tournament May 10.

The Falcons, who won three of the four singles flights, finished with 27 points. Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse was second with 25, followed by tournament host Fraser High at 23, Warren Cousino and Utica Stevenson tied with 19, and Fair Haven Anchor Bay with seven points.

“We performed really strong in our singles,” coach Mike Pytel said. “Our No. 2, 3 and 4 singles took gold, and our No. 1 took silver behind L’Anse Creuse’s Alix Thurman, who’s just an incredible player. My singles are what really locked it in for us, taking all those flights.”

One key victory for Ford came at No. 2 singles, where unseeded Klaudia Kochaniewicz won her championship match 6-2, 6-2. Ford’s Julia Cusumano won third singles with a 6-3, 6-4 victory in the final. The Falcons’ Courtney Gough was the No. 4 singles champion with a 6-1, 6-0 win her final match.

Pytel said the Falcons’ doubles teams also came through, earning key points that contributed to the win.

“Our doubles held their own. Nobody took a zero, which was helpful,” Pytel said. “The doubles not taking a zero or losing really helped the team push past L’Anse Creuse by just two points.”

In fact, the team’s championship hinged on the play of Ford II’s No. 1 doubles team of Alex Bohach and Samantha Ebenhoch, who lost their opening match, but fought back and ended up taking third-place following a 7-5, 7-6 (5) victory.

“When the girls were watching, we made it a point not to let (Bohach and Ebenhoch) know how important it was for them to win that,” Pytel said. “In fact, I didn’t want to make them nervous; because if they won, it gave us the two points and got us just ahead of L’Anse Creuse. But even if they lost, it would have tied us with L’Anse Creuse.”

“We just kept them in the dark and encouraged them through each one of their shots,” Pytel said. “It’s a lot of pressure, because it was the last match on. The girls really fought through it and did what they needed.”

Pytel said despite finishing 2-1-2 in dual meets, the Falcons raised their game for the tournament.

“My girls have lost to some of these opponents we played in the division, but in the tournament, they were able to step it up and win the important matches to win the gold,” he said. “This just shows that when you get to a division tournament, especially in a league like ours where everything is so close, it’s anybody’s game.”

In other local sports action
While Ford’s singles proved to be its strength, Cousino, which won the MAC Blue with a 3-0-1 record, took three of the four doubles flights.

Cousino’s championship teams are Virginia Lozano and Nadia Syed at No. 1, Beatriz Lozano and Amy Milek at No. 2, and Maggie Dobek and Crystal Gray at No. 3. The Patriots’ top-seeded No. 4 doubles duo of Mary Kwiatkowski and Aleksandra Berilazic were finalists.

 

Advertisement