2017-05-17 / Sports

Rugged regionals await area girls’ tennis teams

BY SPORTS STAFF


Imlay City’s Grace Whitney looks to make her third trip to the state finals. She’ll need to win or place second at No. 1 Singles to make that happen at the regional meet tomorrow. 
Photo by Austin VanDaele Imlay City’s Grace Whitney looks to make her third trip to the state finals. She’ll need to win or place second at No. 1 Singles to make that happen at the regional meet tomorrow. Photo by Austin VanDaele SAGINAW – The Lapeer girls’ tennis team got a really good look at the competition it will face in tomorrow’s Class A regional at Saginaw Heritage at last week’s Saginaw Valley League meet.

Midland Dow won the Valley title outright, Heritage was third and Lapeer was seventh. Teams have to win, place second or earn the critical 18 points to advance to the state meet. The winner and runner up at No. 1 Singles automatically advance from each regional.

The seeds for the regional have been released and Midland Dow, ranked No. 2 in Div. 1, Saginaw Heritage and Holly, ranked No. 4 in Div. 2, have the top four draws at nearly every flight. Grand Blanc, 8-1 Kensington Lakes Activities Association, 9-1 overall, and Holly, which stands at 6-0 in the Flint Metro League, won’t have its league meets until May 24. Still, the four schools are the perennial favorites to move on. Also in the mix is Davison, which finished one point ahead of Lapeer at the Valley meet, Carman-Ainsworth, Grand Ledge, Holt, Lansing-Everett, Saginaw High and Traverse City West, which earned a few seeds in the regional tournament.


Lapeer’s Gabby Malson returns a backhand at No. 1 Singles. 
Photo by Lisa Paine Lapeer’s Gabby Malson returns a backhand at No. 1 Singles. Photo by Lisa Paine Lapeer’s lineup includes Gabby Malson at No. 1 Singles, Kelcie Hooker at No. 2, Callie Kennedy at No. 3 and Sara Sullivan at No. 4. Sullivan surprised a lot of people at the Valley meet placing third, and the No. 2 and 3 doubles teams also placed third.

The doubles tandems looking to help earn points include Johanna Grupp/Sydney Thayer at No. 1, Kennedy Reidel/ Sydney Thayer at No. 2, Emily Kirsammer/Miranda Shelly at No. 3 and Alexis Kigar/Kaylin Winther at No. 4.

Div. 3 at St. Clair

Imlay City has high hopes of seeing No. 1 Singles player, Grace Whitney, now a senior, make a return trip to the state meet. This will be her third appearance. St. Clair, ranked No. 6 in Div. 3, hosts the regional on Thursday. League rivals Almont, Armada, Cros- Lex and Yale are also in the mix, along with Center Line, Marine City, Marysville, St. Clair, St. Clair Shores-South Lake and Warren-Regina.

Imlay City’s lineup includes Whitney at No. 1 Singles, Summer Stoldt at No. 2, Hailey Campbell at No. 3 and Sarah Evans at No. 4. Doubles teams include Kendra Blount/ Natasha Stachowiak at No. 1, Joelle Jones/Megan Tietz at No. 2, Amayia Shimmons/ Mackenzie Love at No. 3 and Madison Bull/Mercedes Love at No. 4.

After finishing 4-0-1 in Blue Water Area Conference (BWAC) matches and 5-1-3 overall, Almont is poised for a strong performance in the upcoming regional tournament. The Lady Raiders came up short during the BWAC tournament, but still managed to reach the final rounds in No. 1 Singles, No. 2 Singles and No. 3 Singles, while the No. 2 Doubles team of Sam Justice and Brianne Gryspeed won their respective bracket.

Almont’s lineup includes Maria Bussone at No. 1 Singles, Olivia Bussone at No. 2, Nadia Manko at No. 3 and Paige Hunger at No. 4. Doubles teams include Elizabeth Kerby/Sarah Stroup at No. 1, Justice/Gryspeerd at No. 2, Marlee Kinner/Kara Feys at No. 3 and Emily Maust/Ashley Jellison at No. 4.

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