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Jason Schmitt is the editor of, the high school sports website for The Oakland Press. He has served as the sports editor for a number of newspapers, including the Daily Tribune in Royal Oak and the Macomb Daily in Mount Clemens. In his time in the industry, he has covered every high school sport and has served a a beat writer for boys and girls soccer, boys and girls tennis, hockey, wrestling, bowling and cross country.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Here are my 2014 boys tennis finals predictions

No time to waste. Here are my predictions for Divisions 1-2-3. I broke down everything, match by match, though I include just total points and championship finals here. Agree, disagree?

Novi 30, Brother Rice 25, Troy 25, Ann Arbor Huron 22, Ann Arbor Pioneer 17, Bloomfield Hills 13, Rochester Adams 13, Northville 10, Port Huron Northern 10, Troy Athens 9, Ann Arbor Skyline 9, Grand Blanc 9, Grosse Pointe South 7, Holland West-Ottawa 6, Traverse City Central 5, Rochester 4, Grandville 4, Midland 3, Eisenhower 2, Livonia Stevenson 1, Utica 0, Livonia Churchill 0

Flight Finalists
1S — Tim Wang (Novi) d. Connor Johnston (Northville)
2S — Koushik Kondapi (Novi) d. Steve Forman (Troy)
3S — Alex Wen (Novi) d. Jack Winkler (Brother Rice)
4S — Andre Liu (Novi) d. Henry Fuchs (Ann Arbor Pioneer)
1D — George Hamaty-Joe Paradiso (Brother Rice) d. Maxx Anderson-Daniel Yu (Novi)
2D — Will Brenner-Orion Sang (AA Huron) d. Brendan Dillon-Christian Abelarde (Brother Rice)
3D — Adi Das-Anidow Saha (Troy) d. Alex Cardigan-Brenden Chen (AA Huron)
4D — Chauncey Williams-Anders Rasmussen (AA Huron) d. Aneesh Rastogi-Brandon Guo (Troy)

My thoughts
When the season began, I was a firm believer in Novi's singles lineup and the team depth(s) of Brother Rice and Troy. But the Wildcats have proved to have some depth as well - two #1 seeds in doubles. There just isn't a scenario I see where Novi doesn't bring home the state title. There would have to be at least two upsets in singles and the 1-seeds in doubles would have to stumble. Could it happen? Sure. But I don't see that. Can't wait to see Wang-Johnston - Part 3. I don't think the Tim Wang I saw at regionals is the one that will show up Saturday. Johnston looked great. Wang did not. I want to see them when they're both on. Kondapi is hungry, Wen is really good and Liu is due (see how that worked out?) I predict a Novi sweep in singles, but something tells me they'll get three titles there. Just couldn't figure out which one to take away. I liked Brother Rice's draws. I have them getting to three flight finals. I think Hamaty and Paradiso are hungry.

State finals preview
Novi regional story/photos
Regional roundup
Clarkston regional story/photos
Wang-Johnston feature story

Midland Dow 31, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern 25, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central  22, Portage Central 19, Detroit U-D Jesuit 17, Birmingham Seaholm 15, Birmingham Groves 15, Grosse Pointe North 13, North Farmington 11, Okemos 9, Portage Northern 7, Battle Creek Lakeview 6, Flushing 4, Walled Lake Western 3, Gibraltar Carlson 3, Holly 2, Berkley 1, Pinckney 1, Wyandotte Roosevelt 0, SCS Lakeview 0, Southgate Anderson 0, Edsel Ford 0

Flight finalists
1S — Steward Sell (Portage Northern) d. Varun Shanker (Midland Dow)
2S — Colin Angell (Midland Dow) d. Ben Orwin (Portage Central)
3S — Michael Szabo (Midland Dow) d. Justin Minzlaff (GRFHN)
4S — Aditya Middha (Midland Dow) d. Jacob Wiltjer (GRFHC)
1D — Nick Cusmano-Mitchell Zacharias (GPN) d. Sahil Tandon-Cameron Raedy (Portage Central)
2D — Ryan Roach-Daiki Adachi (GRFHN) d. Andrew Latessa-Will Geller (Seaholm)
3D — Humzah Azeem-Ryan Conner (GRFHC) d. Jalen Zeman-Jack Dolan (Groves)
4D — Sanjay Balijepalli-Daniel Zhang (Midland Dow) d. Joey Preston-Reed Aleck (GRFHC)

My thoughts
Full transparency here. Division 2 is always the hardest to predict - for me. I don't have many results from the west side of the state. And there are more great teams over there than here on the east side. So I rely on the great work of the seeding committee to guide myself. Not many upsets picked here. Dow has won five straight state championships and should win No. 6 on Saturday. Local teams Seaholm and Groves will see the quarterfinal round in a handful of flights each, but I have them reaching the semifinals in just two apiece. Just not enough points to compete with the top five.

State finals preview
Groves regional story/photos
North Farmington regional story/photos
Regional preview story/photos

Country Day 39, Cranbrook 31, East Grand Rapids 23, Grand Rapids Christian 16, Holland Christian 17, Coldwater 11, Sturgis 11, St. Joseph 10, Petoskey 9, Zeeland East 9, Haslett 8, DeWitt 7, St. Clair 6, Parma Western 6, Trenton 5, Mt. Pleasant 5, Chelsea 4, Hamilton 4, Richmond 4, Armada 2, Yale 2, Goodrich 2, Allegan 1, Charlotte 1, Cadillac 0

Flight finalists
1S — Noah Karoub (Country Day) d. Benji Jacobson (C-K)
2S — Marc Sable (C-K) d. Davis Wong (Country Day)
3S — Jakob Gahn (Country Day) d. Ryan Rhoades (Holland Christian)
4S — Michael Khaghany (Country Day) d. Max Condon (EGR)
1D — Blake Burstein-Damian Runkle (Country Day) d. Chase Ghesquiere-Matthew Gerard (C-K)
2D — Rishabh Nayak-Adam Junn (Country Day) d. Nolan Trepeck-Joe Cavataio (C-K)
3D — D.J. Bailey-Andrew Joslyn (Country Day) d. Alex Hubers-Steven Meng (C-K)
4D — Anand Prabhu-Jack Mettler (Country Day) d. Colin Petzold-Brandon Kerr (C-K)

My thoughts
The separation between Country Day and Cranbrook - and the rest of the state - is staggering. The Yellowjackets are arguably the best team in the state, depending on who you ask. It would be fun to break down a Novi-Country Day matchup involving all their starting parts. That aside, the Yellowjackets have a chance to sweep here, something they have not been able to do over their past three championship runs. This team is as or more balanced as any of those teams. The #1 singles final could go either way. Jacobson is really, really talented, but Karoub is so steady. The 2-singles final should be good too. I liked the way Sable looked at the regional. Enjoy Burstein and Runkle at 1-doubles. They're the best pairing in the state - all divisions.

State finals preview
Cranbrook regional story/photos

For all of our tennis stories and photos, go to our Tennis home page on MIPrepZone

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Boys tennis - regional predictions (2014)

The tennis postseason is here - if you can believe it. The season has come and gone so quickly. Now it's time to see if all the hard work has paid off. Regionals are being held today (Thursday) and Friday. I will now give my predictions (below).
To qualify, a team must finish among the top two at its regional, or finish with 18 or more points. At those regions where there are eight teams or fewer, any team with 10 or more points - in addition to the automatic qualifiers - also makes it out.



at Livonia Stevenson - Thursday
(Birmingham Brother Rice, Dearborn, Dearborn-Fordson, Detroit Cass Tech, Livonia Churchill, Livonia Franklin, Livonia Stevenson, Wayne Memorial, Westland John Glenn)
Automatic qualifiers: Birmingham Brother Rice, Livonia Stevenson
Additional qualifiers: None
My thoughts: It's kind of nice that Brother Rice is shipped south - instead of north to Clarkston. Now the state needs to send West Bloomfield south or Rochester Adams east to disperse the immense talent in Oakland County.

at Novi - Friday
(Brighton, Hartland, Howell, Lakeland, Northville, Novi, Novi Detroit Catholic Central, Walled Lake Central, Walled Lake Northern)
Automatic qualifiers: Novi, Northville
Additional qualifier: None
My thoughts: Novi swept the region last year and it's quite possible the Wildcats could do it again. They are the best team in the state. Northville will join them. It's entirely possible Catholic Central could sneak in as well. I think it falls just short.

at Grosse Pointe South - Thursday
(Fraser, Grosse Pointe South, Sterling Heights-Utica Ford II, Sterling Heights Stevenson, Troy, Troy-Athens, Warren Mott, Warren-Cousino, Warren-De La Salle)
Automatic qualifiers: Troy, Grosse Pointe South
Additional qualifier: Troy Athens
My thoughts: Kind of a repeat of last year, the Colts will take the regional title. South will score well. And Athens will get another well-earned trip to Midland.

at Clarkston - Thursday
(Bloomfield Hills, Clarkston, Lake Orion, Rochester, Rochester Adams, Stoney Creek, Waterford Kettering, Waterford Mott, West Bloomfield)
Automatic qualifiers: Rochester Adams, Bloomfield Hills
Additional qualifier: None
My thoughts: Last year Clarkston joined Adams and Bloomfield Hills in advancing on to Midland. I don't see that happening this year. The Wolves, along with Rochester, Lake Orion and West Bloomfield will eat each other alive - and steal valuable points from each other in the process. It's a shame one or two of these teams can't be shipped to another region.


at Birmingham Groves - Thursday
(Avondale, Berkley, Birmingham Groves, Birmingham Seaholm, Detroit U-D Jesuit, Royal Oak, Southfield, Southfield-Lathrup)
Automatic qualifiers: U-D Jesuit, Birmingham Seaholm
Additional qualifier: Birmingham Groves
My thoughts: Don't have the draws in front of my, but I'm sure they're balanced. If the seeds played out as they are potentially laid out, it's possible four teams could get through. But it's highly unlikely that would happen. Jesuit, Seaholm or Groves could win this regional. My money - or lack thereof - is on Jesuit. But not by much. I don't see any team scoring more than 17 or 18 points.

at Holly - Friday
(Alpena, Bay City-Central, Davison, Fenton, Flint-Kearsley, Flushing, Holly, Ortonville-Brandon, Swartz Creek)  
Automatic qualifiers: Holly, Flushing
Additional qualifier: None
My thoughts: I see a repeat of last year's regional, which the Bronchos won by two points over Flushing. Holly is coming off a Flint Metro League title, where it beat out Flushing.


at Cranbrook - Thursday
(Cranbrook, Detroit Country Day, Detroit Mumford, Ferndale, Madison Heights Lamphere, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, Redford Union, South Lyon East)
Automatic qualifiers: Country Day, Cranbrook
Additional qualifier: None
My thoughts: I'd like to think Notre Dame Prep would have a chance - as it has in the past - of scoring enough points to advance out. But Country Day and Cranbrook are rock solid this year and I see it being another dual between the two schools in the flight finals. That being said, the Fighting Irish will have to wait another year.

West Bloomfield Jewish Academy is competing in Ann Arbor. And when nearly a third of the field are teams from that city, it doesn't bode well for the Jaguars. No. 1 ranked Greenhills will win it. Gabriel Richard or Rudolf Steiner will also qualify. And over at Almont, Clawson is part of a small field, but a very capable one, led by Liggett.

PHOTOS FOR PURCHASE:  Check out our tennis home page and look through our photo galleries. If you like a photo and would like to purchase a copy, you may do so by clicking on the "Purchase Photos via SmugMug" button on the bottom right. Or check out our stories/photo galleries listed below:

OAA Red tournament - with photos
OAA Red tournament photo gallery
OAA White tournament - with photos
OAA White tournament photo gallery
Country Day vs. Brother Rice
Troy vs. Groves
Rochester tennis feature
Royal Oak vs. Lamphere
Novi Quad (Brother Rice, Troy)
Brother Rice vs. Cranbrook
Troy Athens vs. Groves
North Farmington vs. Berkley
Bloomfield Hills vs. Cranbrook
Cranbrook gallery
Country Day gallery

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Here's an easy way to purchase a high school memory - photos for sale

People love photos. No doubt about it. Beginning this spring, we began taking more photos of high school sports than ever before. And the reaction from our MIPrepZone readers has been tremendous. Our slideshow galleries have been a hit.
We partnered with SmugMug to house our photos. And with that, we can now offer these photos for sale. Under each SmugMug gallery is a "Purchase photos via SmugMug" button. If you like a photo, or 2, 3 or more, click that button. It will take you to our SmugMug account, where you can purchase your favorite photo(s). It's quick and easy. Just look for the galleries slugged OP at the front for Oakland Press galleries.
Below is a list of all of our BASEBALL, LACROSSE, SOFTBALL and SOCCER photo galleries from this past spring. Check out our photo galleries and if you like what you see, check out the SmugMug page. Order a print for yourself, for grandpa and grandma. I will be adding all other sports soon. So check back often to see what we've got!

Brother Rice vs. Catholic Central - State Final
Country Day vs. Cranbrook - State Final
Catholic Central vs. Forest Hills Northern
Cranbrook vs. Forest Hills Central
Brother Rice vs. Detroit U-D Jesuit
Country Day vs. East Grand Rapids
Clarkston vs. Catholic Central
Troy vs. Brother Rice
Clarkston vs. Utica Eisenhower
Troy Athens vs. Catholic Central
Troy vs. Birmingham Unified
Brother Rice vs. Brighton
Rochester Adams vs. Grosse Pointe North
Birmingham Unified vs. Bloomfield Hills
Novi vs. Saline
Notre Dame Prep vs. Pennfield
Troy Athens vs. Warren De La Salle
St. Mary's vs. Avondale
Brother Rice vs. Culver Academy
Cranbrook vs. Archbishop Moeller
Brother Rice vs. Hill Academy
Clarkston vs. Troy
Birmingham Unified vs. Troy
Novi vs. Brighton
Royal Oak vs. Oxford
Troy Athens vs. Troy
Cranbrook vs. Notre Dame Prep
Troy vs. Rochester Adams
Clarkston vs. Country Day
West Bloomfield vs. Ypsilanti Lincoln
Birmingham Unified vs. Bloomfield Hills
South Lyon Unified vs. Lake Orion
Stoney Creek vs. Royal Oak
Clarkston vs. Troy Athens
Troy vs. Stoney Creek
Walled Lake Central vs. Walled Lake Western
Troy Athens vs. St. Michael's College
Rochester Adams vs. West Bloomfield
Country Day vs. Cranbrook 
Brother Rice vs. Catholic Central
Troy vs. Bloomfield Hills
Royal Oak vs. Avondale
Birmingham Unified vs. Lake Orion
Country Day vs. Brother Rice (UPSET ALERT)
Bishop Foley vs. Royal Oak Shrine
Catholic Central vs. St. Mary's
Brother Rice vs. Detroit U-D Jesuit
Catholic Central vs. Clarkston
Country Day vs. Williamston/Haslett

Birmingham Marian vs. Richland Gull Lake
Our Lady of Lakes/Clarkston Everest vs. Calvin Christian
Country Day vs. Tri-Unity Christian
Our Lady of the Lakes/Clarkston Everest vs. Lansing Christian
Birmingham Marian vs. Lapeer West
Country Day vs. Flint Powers
Our Lady of the Lakes/Clarkston Everest vs. Liggett
Notre Dame Prep vs. Flint Powers
Country Day vs. Grosse Ile
Hazel Park vs. Livonia Ladywood
Stoney Creek vs. Eisenhower
Royal Oak Shrine vs. Liggett
Walled Lake Northern vs. Walled Lake Central
Rochester vs. Eisenhower
Stoney Creek vs. Rochester Adams
Birmingham Seaholm vs. Troy Athens
Bloomfield Hills vs. Royal Oak
Troy vs. Royal Oak
Bishop Foley vs. Roeper
Berkley vs. Bishop Foley
Notre Dame Prep vs. Our Lady of the Lakes/Clarkston Everest
Country Day vs. Troy
Lake Orion vs. Stoney Creek
Birmingham Marian vs. Notre Dame Prep
Our Lady of the Lakes/Clarkston Everest vs. Cabrini
Clawson vs. St. Clair
Lamphere vs. L'Anse Creuse North
Lake Orion vs. Oxford
Lake Orion vs. Birmingham Groves
South Lyon East vs. South Lyon
Birmingham Seaholm vs. Farmington
Stoney Creek vs. Royal Oak
Notre Dame Prep vs. Farmington Hills Mercy
Farmington vs. Birmingham Seaholm
Royal Oak vs. L'Anse Creuse
Stoney Creek vs. Utica
Cranbrook vs. Royal Oak Shrine
Rochester Adams vs. Troy
Walled Lake Western vs. Walled Lake Central
West Bloomfield vs. Birmingham Seaholm
Notre Dame Prep vs. Gabriel Richard
Troy vs. Utica Ford
Clarkston vs. Bloomfield Hills
Stoney Creek vs. Rochester
Birmingham Marian vs. Bishop Foley
Troy vs. Troy Athens
Troy Athens vs. Bloomfield Hills
Novi vs. Stoney Creek
Oxford vs. Birmingham Groves
Rochester Adams vs. Country Day
Holly vs. Linden
Kettering vs. Mott
Troy vs. Royal Oak
Stoney Creek vs. Troy Athens
Lake Orion vs. North Farmington
Rochester Adams vs. Rochester
Notre Dame Prep vs. Bishop Foley
Waterford Mott vs. Walled Lake Northern
Lake Orion vs. Clarkston
Walled Lake Northern vs. Kettering
Avondale vs. Notre Dame Prep
Royal Oak Shrine vs. Bishop Foley

Notre Dame Prep vs. Livonia Ladywood
Lake Orion vs. Romeo
Notre Dame Prep vs. Almont
Farmington Hills Mercy vs. Canton
Lake Orion vs. Clarkston
Troy vs. Troy Athens
Lakeland vs. Fenton
Lake Orion vs. Kettering
Troy Athens vs. West Bloomfield
South Lyon East vs. Kettering
Kettering vs. Hartland
Troy Athens vs. Clarkston
Rochester Adams vs. Rochester
Lake Orion vs. Clarkston
Lakeland, Rochester, Troy Athens at Pieper Tournament
 - More from Pieper Tournament (including Royal Oak, Milford)
Stoney Creek vs. Eisenhower
Berkley vs. Avondale
Lakeland vs. Kettering
Hazel Park vs. Center Line
Lakeland vs. Howell
Bishop Foley vs. Our Lady of the Lakes
Troy Athens vs. Rochester
Michigan Stars Tournament #1 (South Lyon, Clarkston, Rochester, Mott)
Michigan Stars Tournament #2 (Clarkston, Mott, Notre Dame Prep, Troy)
Farmington Hills Mercy vs. Birmingham Marian
Berkley vs. Royal Oak
Lake Orion vs. Troy Athens
Clarkston vs. North Farmington
Lakeland vs. Milford
Bloomfield Hills vs. Royal Oak
Rochester Adams vs. Stoney Creek
Clarkston vs. Troy
Waterford Mott vs. Lakeland

Clarkston vs.  Bay City Western
Clarkston vs. Brighton
Clarkston-Lakeland-Bloomfield Hills regional
Lamphere vs. Richmond
West Bloomfield vs. Brighton
Royal Oak Shrine vs. Parkway Christian
Notre Dame Prep vs. Orchard Lake St. Mary's
Walled Lake Western vs. Brighton
Bloomfield Hills vs. Rochester Adams
Lakeland vs. Milford
Stoney Creek-Rochester district
Ortonville Brandon vs. Lapeer West
Bishop Foley vs. Our Lady of the Lakes
Walled Lake Northern vs. Walled Lake Central
Brother Rice vs. West Bloomfield
Walled Lake Northern vs. Walled Lake Central (2)
Clawson vs. Lutheran Northwest
Troy vs. Berkley
Lake Orion vs. Notre Dame Prep
Oxford vs. Bishop Foley
Lamphere vs. Cousino
Bloomfield Hills vs. Troy
Farmington Hills Harrison vs. North Farmington
Walled Lake Central vs. Walled Lake Northern
Brother Rice vs. Orchard Lake St. Mary's
Bishop Foley vs. Notre Dame Prep
Brother Rice vs. Divine Child
Notre Dame Prep vs. Royal Oak Shrine
Lake Orion vs. Rochester
Walled Lake Central vs. Walled Lake Northern
Clarkston vs. Oxford
Troy Athens vs. Troy
North Farmington vs. Farmington
Lake Orion vs. Rochester
Rochester Adams vs. Seaholm
Groves vs. Farmington Hills Harrison
Royal Oak Shrine vs. Our Lady of the Lakes
Lake Orion vs. Clarkston
Notre Dame Prep vs. Bishop Foley
Royal Oak vs. Troy
Bloomfield Hills vs. Troy Athens
Clarkston vs. Lake Orion
Rochester vs. Stoney Creek
Brother Rice vs. Orchard Lake St. Mary's
Southfield vs. Ferndale
Clarkston vs. Stoney Creek
Orchard Lake St. Mary's vs. De La Salle
Madison vs. Warren Lincoln
Walled Lake Central vs. Walled Lake Western
Rochester Adams vs. Rochester
Holly vs. Brandon
Walled Lake Central vs. Oxford
Walled Lake Northern vs. Walled Lake Western
Stoney Creek vs. Lake Orion
Brother Rice vs. Detroit U-D Jesuit
North Farmington vs. Seaholm
Bishop Foley vs. Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard
Country Day vs. Grand Blanc
West Bloomfield vs. Bishop Foley
Brother Rice vs. Royal Oak

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Check out my 2014 girls tennis finals predictions

I spent far too much time breaking down the brackets in all four divisions these past couple nights. Here's a look at what I came up with. As always, your thoughts are welcomed. Though, remember, these predictions are just that, predictions, not personal attacks on anyone. I've been known to be spot on at times, and off as well.

Grosse Pointe South 26, Clarkston 24, Bloomfield Hills 20, Northville 19, Midland Dow 16, Port Huron Northern 16, Traverse City Central 14, West Bloomfield 13, Ann Arbor Pioneer 10, Novi 9, Troy 8, Farmington Hills Mercy 6, Hudsonville 6, Ann Arbor Skyline 4, Utica 4, Ann Arbor Huron 3, Utica Eisenhower 2, Livonia Stevenson 2, Walled Lake Northern 1, Rockford 0, Grand Ledge 0

Flight Finalists
1S — Lexi Baylis (Clarkston) d. Davina Nguyen (Utica)
2S — Caroline Dzabo (Midland Dow) d. Isabella Spindler (Clarkston)
3S — Dana Olsen (Clarkston) d. Afua Ofori-Darko (Midland Dow)
4S — Elaina Parrillo (Midland Dow) d. Paige Olsen (Clarkston)
1D — Wirtz-Basha (PH Northern) d. Meyers-Cahn (West Bloomfield)
2D — Tseng-Bacheller (PH Northern) d. Dotterrer-Palisin (Traverse City Central)
3D — Kalogeridis-Moy (GP South) d. Hermiz-Jeannotte (Northville)
4D — Hayden-Beardslee (GP South) d. Quinn-Page (Northville)

My thoughts
Division 1 can be a crapshoot. So much talent. So deep. It's hard to predict. Grosse Pointe South is the best team - top to bottom - in the field. The Blue Devils are as deep as they come. Clarkston is as talented as they come. So it's an interesting tournament, to say the least. If Clarkston maximizes its opportunities, it can win its second title in four years. Singles will do its part once again. And as much as I'd like to say the doubles lineup is the key - which it is A key - having the singles lineup perform beyond expectations is just as important. The No. 1 singles draw is loaded. Mollie Fox (Bloomfield Hills) and Paige Cooley (TC Central) in a quarterfinal is intriguing. Lexi Baylis will be awaiting the winner. On the bottom half of the draw, Utica's Davina Nguyen, who won this flight two years ago, will be playing the winner of Christina Jordan (West Bloomfield) and Raven Neeley (GPS). That pairing is another great quarter. The winner better get her rest before Saturday morning.

Birmingham Seaholm 31, GR Forest Hills Northern 30, Birmingham Marian 28, East Grand Rapids 20, Okemos 17, Portage Central 15, North Farmington 10, East Lansing 9, Fenton 6, Battle Creek Lakeview 5, Mason 4, Allen Park 3, Holly 2, Farmington 2, Farmington Hills Harrison 2, Riverview 2, Grosse Pointe North 2, Royal Oak 1, Grand Rapids Northview 1, Port Huron 0, Richland Gull Lake 0, Wyandotte-Roosevelt 0

Flight Finalists
1S — Labina Petrovska (Seaholm) d. Abby Perkins (Mason)
2S — Madeline Bissett (Forest Hills Northern) d. Carly Pratt (Portage Central)
3S — Catherine Wingrove (Okemos) d. Claire Markley (Seaholm)
4S — Sydney Whitfield (Forest Hills Northern) d. Sophia Balardo (Marian)
1D — Minzlaff-Stevens (Forest Hills Northern) d. Dadabbo-Emde (Marian)
2D — MacEachern-Landis (Marian) d. Jones-Nguyen (Forest Hills Northern)
3D — McDermott-Flynn (Seaholm) d. Hudson-Cibulas (Marian)
4D — Dixon-Johnston (Seaholm) d. Champion-Colosimo (Marian)

My thoughts  
If you went by the seeds alone, Seaholm would walk away with its second title in three years. The Maples are everyone's favorites heading in. To combat the pressure, coach Scott Ransome has downplayed that fact. Marian has won two championships in the past four years and Forest Hills Northern has won eight championships since 2002. That's what I'd be telling my team if it was a favorite heading into this weekend. All three teams will be ready to play - that's for sure. My projections show a much closer chase for the championship. The difference very well may be Seaholm's balance from top to bottom. It's got the best player in the tournament, as well as the best 3-4 doubles teams. Can the rest of the Maples' singles lineup step it up and score the way the rest of the state expect them to? We shall see. I've got Seaholm advancing to the semifinals in all eight flights. And I've got Forest Hills Northern and Marian advancing in seven. That very well might be the difference.

Cranbrook Kingswood 36, Allegan 27, Detroit Country Day 25, Grand Rapids Christian 19, St. Clair 15, Forest Hills Eastern 13, Williamston 12, Holland Christian 12, Haslett 10, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep 9, Spring Lake 6, Cadillac 6, Armada 5, Trenton 3, Vicksburg 3, Parma Western 2, Niles 1, Carleton Airport 0, Chelsea 0, Hamilton 0, Battle Creek Harper Creek 0

Flight Finalists
1S — Alexandria Najarian (Cranbrook) d. Sara Daavettila (Williamston)
2S — Anna Short (Cranbrook) d. Abbey Dekkinga (Allegan)
3S — Madelyn Karoub (Country Day) d. Claire Brooks (St. Clair)
4S — Jazz Teste (Cranbrook) d. Karlie Wells (Allegan)
1D — Phyle-Simmons (Cranbrook) d. Boniface-Boniface (Notre Dame Prep)
2D — Vanklompenberg-Orr (Allegan) d. DeVos-Heule (Grand Rapids Christian)
3D — Lanzon-Beckett (Cranbrook) d. Hopkins-Rizgallah (Allegan)
4D — Du-Wysocki (Cranbrook) d. Harkema-Koopman (Grand Rapids Christian)

My thoughts
About a week before regionals, I was certain about two things as the state tournament approached: Cranbrook was sure of a fourth straight Division 3 state championship; and senior Alex Najarian would finish her high school career as an unbeaten, four-time state champion herself. Three weeks later, I feel those same two things will happen. But after finding out Williamston's Sara Daavettila, a Blue Chip sophomore, is in the draw, it made things very much more interesting. Daavettila is the real deal. She and Najarian played twice out of season last June. Najarian won both times, but needed three sets the second time. Since then, Daavettila is 33-2 playing some of the top USTA competition in the country. If I wasn't committed to attending the Division 1 finals in Midland, I would be in Kalamazoo on Saturday afternoon, watching that match. It's clearly the match of the season - for all of high school tennis in Michigan. As for the team, Cranbrook is clearly the team to beat and I think the Cranes will win championships at all six flights they are seed #1 at. Ann Short is a lock at 2-singles. And Cranbrook's doubles lineup is stacked. Country Day's Madelyn Karoub is a lock at No. 3 singles as well.

Grosse Ile 32, Portland 20, BH Sacred Heart 17, Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard 17, Lansing Catholic 16, Ludington 15, Traverse City St. Francis 14, Kalamazoo Christian 14, Berrien Springs 11, Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central 11, North Muskegon 9, Grandville Calvin Christian 8, Niles Brandywine 7, Jackson Lumen-Christi 6, Liggett 5, Imlay City 2, NorthPointe Christian 1, Clarkston Everest Collegiate-WOLL 1, Saginaw Nouvel 1, Flint Powers 0, Frankenmuth 0, Paw Paw 0

Flight Finalists
1S — Colleen O'Brien (AA Gabriel Richard) d. Arien Kissinger (Berrien Springs)
2S — Maddy Szuba (AA Gabriel Richard) d. Julia Formentin (Grosse Ile)
3S — Audrey Bouma (Kalamazoo Christian) d. Ola Latala (Grosse Ile)
4S — Kennedy Quinn (Grosse Ile) d. Sydni Greenhoe (Portland)
1D — Kelly-Kelly (Ludington) d. Lemon-Spangler (Sacred Heart)
2D — Laman-Schneider (Ludington) d. Kvasnitova-Formentin (Grosse Ile)
3D — Kuzmiak-Terauchi (Grosse Ile) d. Bonn-Dorshimer (Portland)
4D — Tucker-Guthrie (Grosse Ile) d. Butterfield-Wittkopp (Portland)

My thoughts 
Well, for the first time in three years, there will be a team other than Bloomfield Hills Academy of the Sacred Heart winning the Division 4 state title. The Gazelles are a good team. But Grosse Ile is a great team. The Red Devils finished runner-up to Sacred Heart last year. This season, they are a very deep team. I've predicted them to reach six flight championships, winning three. They will pull away from the field - take it to the bank. Sacred Heart is seeded at six flights. That's enough to keep the team in contention after Day 1. If the team can outperform expectations - many of those seeds are 3-4-5-6 - they can push for a top-3 finish. It's been a remarkable run for coach Judy Hehs' bunch.

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Regionals come and go; Now it's on to states

Clarkston had a reason to celebrate after winning the
Division 1 regional at Rochester on Friday.
Sad to say it, but the tennis season is nearly over. But, with that being said, it's also the most exciting time of the year for Oakland County teams. Most set their sights on the state tournaments. And that's what we have left.
With seven county teams being ranked in the top-five in the latest state rankings (in their divisions), a state championship is within reason. In fact, it's expected for a couple programs. I won't get into that now. My predictions are upcoming next week, once we've seen the state draws.
I want to take some time to congratulate everyone on a great season (so far) and give a shout out to those who will be playing in the state tournaments in two weeks.
There were six regional (team) champions this past weekend. Clarkston and Farmington Hills Mercy each captured Division 1 titles. Seaholm and North Farmington won easily in Division 2. Cranbrook nearly swept the field in the Division 3 regional it hosted, while Sacred Heart beat out Liggett for the Division 4 regional title in Almont.
In all, 15 county teams qualified in the four divisions. Joining the above six will be Novi, Troy, Bloomfield Hills and West Bloomfield in Division 1, Marian, Holly and Farmington in Division 2 and Country Day and Notre Dame Prep in Division 3.
A special congrats must go to those individual qualifiers - No. 1 singles players not on qualifying teams - moving on to the finals. In Division 1, Walled Lake Northern's Sophie Reismuller won her flight at the Novi region. Royal Oak's Ivona Gorgioski reached the final at the Groves regional and will participate in her first state tournament in Division 2. And Clarkston Everest Collegiate/WOLL's Carly Sutkiewicz blew away the Division 4 competition in Almont and will make the trip to Grand Blanc/Holly.
The state tournaments will be held on May 30-31 at the following sites:
Division 1 — Midland
Division 2 — Holland
Division 3 — Kalamazoo
Division 4 — Grand Blanc/Holly
I will blog my finals predictions early next week, so stay tuned. And PLEASE check out all the photos (in the slideshows) in our stories - it really does make a difference. I'm counting on everyone to look at all the photos! Thanks.
Below are the regional results I received or was able to track down from this past weekend.

(at Grosse Pointe South)
TEAM SCORES — Grosse Pointe South 31, Troy 24, Troy Athens 17, Fraser 11, Sterling Heights 7, Cousino 6, Mott 5, Cass Tech 3, East Detroit 0, Martin Luther King 0
CHAMPIONSHIP SINGLES — Raven Neely (GPS) d. Amanda Guo (T) 6-1, 6-1; Madie Flournoy (GPS) d. Abbey Rice (T) 6-2, 6-1; Brooke Willard (GPS) d. Tiffany Chen (T) 6-0, 6-2; Maddie Paolucci (GPS) d. Hope Ma (TA) 6-0, 6-2 CHAMPIONSHIP SINGLES — Samantha Perry-Maggie Sweeney (GPS) d. Lillian Liang-Deepthi Devireddy (T) 6-0, 6-1; Sydney Keller-Morgane Flournoy (GPS) d. Arushi Mahajan-Clare Keating (T) 6-4, 6-2; Julianne Fava-Leena Penumalee (T) d. Angelica Kalogeridis-Jennifer Moy (GPS) 5-7, 7-5, 6-1; Ginny Hayden-Kelly Beardslee (GPS) d. Katie Forche-Erica Friesen (T) 6-3, 6-1

(at Rochester)
TEAM SCORES — Clarkston 27, Bloomfield Hills 26, West Bloomfield 19, Stoney Creek 14, Rochester Adams 10, Rochester 7, Lake Orion 4, Oxford 2, Waterford Kettering 1, Waterford Mott 1, Southfield-Lathrup 1
CHAMPIONSHIP SINGLES — Lexi Baylis (C) d. Mollie Fox (BH) 6-0, 6-4; Isabella Spindler (C) d. Kerry Hu (BH) 6-4, 6-4; Dana Olsen (C) d. Katrin Gurvich (WB) 6-1, 6-0; Paige Olsen (C) d. Meryl Reams (BH) 6-2, 6-2
CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLES — Gillian Meyers-Sara Cahn (WB) d. Erin Weingarten-Maddie Fox 5-7, 6-2, 6-3; Brittany Silverman-Charlotte Garrison (BH) d. Caitlin McCaghy-Mackenzie Sowers 6-0, 6-3; Natalie Langnas-Rheanna Henney (BH) d. Amy Brozovich-Becca Gorz (C) 5-7, 6-2, 6-1; Marie Baenen-Ester Yi (BH) d. Riley Budzinski-Olivia Baylis (C) 6-0, 7-5

(at Birmingham Groves)
TEAM SCORES — Birmingham Seaholm 22, Birmingham Marian 17, Birmingham Groves 8, Berkley 4, Royal Oak 4, Avondale 0, Southfield 0
CHAMPIONSHIP SINGLES — Labina Petrovska (BS) d. Ivona Gorgioski (RO) 6-1, 6-1; Lauren Frazier (BS) d. Breann Lunghamer (BM) 6-2, 6-1; Claire Markley (BS) d. Catherine Yaldoo (BM) 6-2, 6-1; Rachel Fenberg (BS) d. Sophia Balardo (BM) 6-2, 6-4
CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLES — Tatyanna Dadabbo-Bianca Emde (BM) d. Jackie Meier-Laine Boitos (BS) 6-2, 7-6; Mollie MacEachern-McKenna Landis (BM) d. Sam Lareau-Caity Buechner (BS) 3-6, 6-2, 6-0; Emily McDermott-Meaghan Flynn (BS) d. Caroline Cibulas-Mallory Hudson (BM) 6-3, 6-4; Sophie Dixon-Lisa Johnston (BS) d. Marta Colosimo-Katie Champion (BM) 6-3, 6-3

(at North Farmington)
TEAM SCORES — North Farmington 31, Farmington 23, Dearborn Heights Crestwood 13, South Lyon 11, Farmington Hills Harrison 9, Dexter 9, Detroit Cody 0, Garden City 0, Redford Thurston 0
CHAMPIONSHIP SINGLES — Arti Vaishnav (NF) d. Sheryl Carter (FHH) 6-0, 6-1; Rachel Gringlas (NF) d. Clarissa Gaddis (FHH) 6-4, 6-2; Shannon Kenny (NF) d. Aneesha Yander (F) 1-0, ret.; Isha Nadgauda (F) d. Ashley Sauerbrey (NF) 6-1, 6-1
CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLES — Maura Ehrlich-Andi Kopitz (NF) d. Priyanka Sakthikumar-Ashley Tran (F) 6-4, 6-3; Alyssa Cutcher-Kyra Cutcher (NF) d. Maria Peurach-Natalia Peurach (F) 6-2, 6-4; Eva Pitts-Dania Abdulhamid (NF) d. Sharon Thomas-Samantha Miller (F) 6-2, 6-1; Myra Visser-Madison Selinsky (NF) d. Shreya Raman-Sarah Bayani (F) 6-1, 6-1

(at Holly)
TEAM SCORES — Fenton 25, Holly 22, Lapeer West 15, Flushing 14, Lapeer East 12, Alpena 5, Ortonville-Brandon 5, Bay City Central 4, Flint Kearsley 3, Clio 2, Bay City Western 2
CHAMPIONSHIP SINGLES — Madison Ballard (F) d. Natalie Clink (H) 6-2, 6-1; Sydney Phipps (F) d. Blake Clements (LW) 6-2, 2-0, ret.; Josie Foguth (F) d. Mary Beth Pfund (LW) 6-3, 7-5; Megan Donovan (LE) d. Alycia Kigar (LW) 7-5, 6-4
CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLES — Carley Postma-Sydney Renehan (H) d. Ashley Bearden-Hannah Horton (F) 6-0, 4-6, 6-3; Clancey Gleason-Elizabeth Newman (FL) d. Abby Rachor-Sylee Kiran (F) 6-4, 3-6, 7-5; Katie Kurncz-Kendrah Praedel (F) d. Alanah Rau-Paige Reid (H) 6-4, 7-5; Katherine Skubik-Abby Graff (H) d. Madalyn Wendling-Katherine Huber (FL) 6-0, 6-0

(at Cranbrook)
TEAM SCORES — Cranbrook Kingswood 31, Detroit Country Day 23, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep 18, Madison Heights Lamphere 13, Center Line 7, Goodrich 5, Ferndale 4, Hazel Park 3, Redford Union 3, Flint Southwestern 2
CHAMPIONSHIP SINGLES — Alexandria Najarian (CK) d. Sasha Hartje (DCD) 6-4, 6-0; Anna Short (CK) d. Haley Mullins (DCD) 6-2, 7-6 (2); Madelyn Karoub (DCD) d. Emily Harvey (CK) 6-0, 6-0; Jazz Teste (CK) d. Sarah Carroll 7-5, 7-6 (6)
CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLES — Meg Phyle-Amanda Simmons (CK) d. Annie Boniface-Julie Boniface (NDP) 6-2, 6-2; Holly Meers-Amanda Twu (CK) d. Hannah DiNardo-Allison Kavanagh (NDP) 6-1, 6-3; Lauren Lanzon-Mackenzie Beckett (CK) d. Sharmila Prabhu-Lydia Wang (DCD) 6-3, 6-4; Sauma Du-Sloane Wysocki (CK) d. Samantha Prince-Tara Tang (DCD) 6-2, 6-0

(at Almont)
TEAM SCORES — Academy of the Sacred Heart 27, Liggett 24, Clarkston Everest 15, Almont 12, Marine City 5, Wixom St. Catherine 4, Imlay City 4, Clawson 2, Bishop Foley 1
CHAMPIONSHIP SINGLES — Carly Sutkiewicz (CEC) d. Grace Whitney (Imlay City) 6-2, 6-3; Teresa Walawender (ASH) d. Sara Anthony (L) 6-3, 6-0; Tate Lehmann (ASH) d. Jane Ninivaggi (L) 6-1, 6-0; Brenna MacArthur (ASH) d. Hannah Homsy (L) 6-2, 6-0
CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLES — Gretchen Lemon-Sarah Spangler (ASH) d. Mara Hillyer-Caroline Echrich (L) 6-1, 6-1; Stella Betrus-Kendall Lehmann (ASH) d. Ellene Bricolas-Rita Sidhu (L) 6-4, 6-3; Hannah Evans-Shannon Milner (ASH) d. Rayna Patel-Gabby Cavataio (L) 6-2, 6-2; Renata Szymanski-Grace Drettman (L) d. Sarah Panone-Jackie Zielinski (ASH) 6-2, 6-4

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