2018-05-16 / Sports

Ladies to hold court at tennis regionals

BY SPORTS STAFF


Lapeer’s Callie Kennedy returns a shot at No. 2 Singles on April 11. 
Photo by Lisa Paine Lapeer’s Callie Kennedy returns a shot at No. 2 Singles on April 11. Photo by Lisa Paine MIDLAND — Lapeer has already seen many of the teams it will contend with in tomorrow’s girls’ high school tennis regional, most recently at last Thursday’s Saginaw Valley League meet.

At the Valley meet, Lapeer placed fifth and No. 1 Div. 1-ranked Midland Dow won the title as expected. Host Heritage was second. Davison trailed Lapeer by half a point and Carman- Ainsworth trailed Lapeer by 1.5 points. Lapeer, Davison and Carman-Ainsworth will have their hands full at the regional that also includes Grand Blanc, Grand Ledge, Holt, Saginaw and Traverse City West.

Teams have to win the regional, place second or earn 18 points to move on. The winner and runner up at No. 1 Singles earn automatic berths. Dow is expected to win the regional and favored to earn the necessary points are Grand Blanc and Saginaw Heritage. That doesn’t mean any of the other teams won’t surprise and come out as state qualifiers, the road is just a bumpy one full of loaded teams standing in the way.


Imlay City’s Summer Stoldt returns a shot at No. 1 Singles on May 9 at Cros-Lex. 
Photo by Joe Crawford Imlay City’s Summer Stoldt returns a shot at No. 1 Singles on May 9 at Cros-Lex. Photo by Joe Crawford Lapeer’s season has gone fairly well considering Coach Oscar Rodriguez had to replace six key players, who graduated. His lineup of juniors and seniors stepped into leadership roles and some even got a shot at playing coveted positions when teammates got injured.

Junior Gabby Molson plays at No. 1 Singles, senior Callie Kennedy at No. 2, junior Bella Kanasty at No. 3 and junior Alexis Kigar at No. 4. The doubles tandems got new partners this season and include No. 1 Kaylin Winther-Gabby Rodela, Sydney Thayer-Brianna Rice at No. 2, Claire Campbell-Mallory Carr at No. 3 and Erin Sahr-Stephanie Slater at No. 4.


Almont’s Maria Bussone rips a forehand return at No. 1 Singles on April 10. 
Photo by Austin VanDaele Almont’s Maria Bussone rips a forehand return at No. 1 Singles on April 10. Photo by Austin VanDaele Rodriguez had tabbed Midland, Midland Dow, Flint Powers and Heritage as the strong teams in the Saginaw Valley League this season. He wasn’t far off.

At the upcoming regional, though, Rodriguez will be without three key players—Molson, Rice and Sahr. Molson and Rice will be taking the AP test and Sahr will be at a school trip to New York. Molson holds down the No. 1 Singles position, so Rodriguez will have to figure out what to do at that position.

Sahr and Stephanie Slater worked hard at No. 4 Doubles at the SVL meet propelling Lapeer into fifth place trailing 1-4 before coming from behind to win 10-8 over Mt. Pleasant. In the semis, the duo fell to Midland Dow, 6-0, 6-0, like most others in the tournament. Slater will likely get a new partner for the regional meet.

Rodriguez said Molson had a very good performance at the Valley Meet.

“Gabrielle Molson also had a very good day by defeating her first two opponents,” said Rodriguez. “After sailing past Bay City Western 10-0, she had another chance to play against Carman-Ainsworth’s Katie Speaks, who she had just lost to the day before. Gabrielle played much stronger and was really placing the ball very well. Her serves were also tough to return.”

The regional draw was not available yet as we went to press Tuesday morning. Rodriguez said the draw can sometimes make a big difference. That difference, combined with the unexpected changes in the lineup could put Lapeer in a precarious position, or it could surprise many. The quest for the title begins tomorrow in this regional at the Midland Tennis Center.

DIV. 3 AT ST. CLAIR

There’s also a lot of familiarity in the Div. 3 regional Friday, as the Blue Water Area Conference teams just completed their league meet on Saturday, albeit delayed because of rain. Almont and Imlay City know full well who they will have to get past after Saturday’s precursor to the regional. First and foremost is Div. 3, No. 9-ranked host St. Clair.

Almont has already flexed its muscle against Armada, Cros-Lex, Imlay City and Yale this season, tying with Yale 4-4, falling to Cros- Lex 5-3, beating Armada 5-3, falling to St. Clair 6-2 and beating Imlay City 7-1. Almont also lost to Notre Dame Prep 7-1 and beat Marysville 5-3.

That its successes have come from a very young team speaks to Almont’s drive. Only two players remained off last year’s team after graduation in Maria Bussone and Nadia Manko. Everyone else has been an untested newcomer.

At the BWAC Meet Saturday, Cros-Lex captured its first league title since 2002, Almont was third and Imlay City sixth.

As for Imlay City, Summer Stoldt will look to make a run at No. 1 Singles along with Sarah Evans at No. 2, Mackenzie Allen at No. 3 and Joelle Jones at No. 4. Doubles tandems include Agnes Krahn and Kendall Sommer at No. 1, Amayia Shimmons and Mackenzie Love at No. 2, Megan Tietz and Sofia Villeda at No. 3 and Jessica De La Cruz and Emma Waatti at No. 4.

Return to top

Copyright © 2009-2018 The County Press, All Rights Reserved

Click here for the E-Edition
2018-05-16 digital edition

Unrestricted access available to web site subscribers

Subscribers to the County Press newspaper can now purchase the complete online and E-Edition of the paper for as little as $5 for three months. If you want a six month subscription to the online edition it is $10 and a full year can be purchased for $20.

Non-subscribers can sign up for the online version for $15 for three months, $30 for six months and $60 for an annual subscription.