Lamphere girls tennis is again one of the best in MAC Silver

By: Mark Vest | Madison - Park News | Published May 7, 2018

 Madison Heights Lamphere senior Destiny Michael eyes the ball during a recent match against Royal Oak High. The Rams have nine seniors on their squad.

Madison Heights Lamphere senior Destiny Michael eyes the ball during a recent match against Royal Oak High. The Rams have nine seniors on their squad.

Photo by Donna Dalziel

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MADISON HEIGHTS — With so many different sports and activities to choose from, it can be challenging for coaches of high school athletic teams to attract kids into their respective programs.

Winning can be one of the best ways for coaches to get kids to take notice, and last season Madison Heights Lamphere’s girls tennis program did a good share of that, as the Rams finished at 9-2-3 overall and 4-0-1 in the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division.

Lamphere shared the MAC Silver dual meet championship with Warren Mott, and tied for first at the division tournament with Clawson High.

“We’ve got about 30 girls on our JV and varsity team, so we’ve created some momentum in that area,” said Lamphere coach Brian White. “It’s been helpful in bringing out other students. … It’s been consistently around 30. We’ve had as many as 40 over (the) last 10 years. The numbers have held steady, and that’s what’s important right now.”

At press time, Lamphere was 7-3 overall and 3-1 in the MAC Silver, with the dual meet championship and division tournament yet to be decided.

Helping to lead the Rams is No. 1 singles player Makenzie Bowler.

According to White, the senior has been the MAC Silver MVP for two consecutive seasons.

“She’s very important,” White said. “Probably the best all-around tennis player we’ve had. She’s a leader. … She has been very consistent in her play.”

The other players making up Lamphere’s squad are Destiny Michael (No. 2 singles), Lilli Poe (No. 3), Andrea Petkovic (No. 4), and doubles teams Melissa Siba and Nicole Robin (No. 1), Jenny Truong and Frodet Elia (No. 2), Jenna Truong and Nicole Kosticak (No. 3), and Cayly Kapa and Lexi Paavo (No. 4).

In total, Lamphere has nine seniors on its squad.

Aside from on-court experience, given that the varsity and JV teams practice together, having that many seniors can be beneficial for the program.

“I think that’s been very key,” White said. “The benefits are that when we play together, they get to get instruction from the older (players). The (seniors) will help them. … They’re like having another coach on the tennis court.”

Although White said he’s happy that they’re having fun, there are some other sides to his team, too.

“They’re very gritty,” White said. “They’re resilient. I’ve had some kids that have pulled a muscle or twist an ankle, and they’ve been able to continue and play under those conditions. They’ve overcome some adversity.”

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