Latest on the tennis front
The action will take place at both Novi High School and at the Middle School. The host Wildcats, Brother Rice, Ann Arbor Huron and Country Day will all square off to see who the best team in the state is.
Currently, Huron, Novi and Brother Rice are 1-2-3 in Division 1, while Country Day is No. 1 in Division 3 and were recently ranked No. 1 overall in the Coaches' Poll (see below). The Yellowjackets have already beaten Novi (5-3) and Brother Rice (6-2) earlier this season.
I've been a firm believer that Novi and Brother Rice are the two best teams in Division 1. This will be their chance to prove me right. I expect them both to beat Huron. I also expect Country Day to hold serve against all three of its opponents.
The match I'm most excited about is Brother Rice-Novi. I have them ranked 2-3 in the county - in that order. But I could see it being a 5-3, or 4-4 match, either way. I would never put undue pressure on the kids by predicting their individual matches, but I am looking forward to Rice's Gunnar Peery and Novi's Tim Wang duking it out at No. 1 singles.
I've heard Rice may have made some changes to its lineup since I last saw it play, so I'm interested to see how they play out. Blake Hildebrand and Gavin McNulty are now playing No. 1 doubles together. Their match against Novi's Jason Carless and Andrew Ying should be a good one.
The battle for second
As league seasons begin to wind down over the next week and conference tournaments take place next weekend, the leagues are starting to shake out a bit. In the OAA Red, Troy has looked dominant this season. The Colts are 6-0 in league play with a big one against Groves Thursday afternoon.
Troy has beaten West Bloomfield (8-1), Stoney Creek (7-2), Rochester Adams (7-2) and North Farmington (8-1), but coach Brian Miska admitted to me that all of his team's league doubles' matches have been tight. So it should make for an interesting league tournament.
Groves enters its match against Troy with just two losses in league play (Adams, West Bloomfield). Andover has also lost just twice (Groves, Troy). Adams, the other piece in this crazy-tight league, is 4-2 with its losses coming to Troy and Andover.
UPDATE: Troy beat Groves 8-1 to finish a perfect 7-0 in OAA Red play. The Colts are off for a week and will look to repeat as league champions at the Red Tournament on Tuesday, Oct. 2.
Farmington dominating the OAA Blue
Last Thursday, Farmington beat Ferndale 8-0. With earlier wins against Royal Oak (6-2), Harrison (6-2), and Southfield (8-0), only an October 2nd match with Southfield Lathrup separates FHS from capturing the OAA Blue regular-season title.
Another thank you
I want to again thank everyone who contacts us with results after every match. I've noticed an increase over the past two weeks - particularly in the OAA. It really does make my job of following the kids easier and will help me come the end of the season with all-county selections. Every once in awhile I do have some issues on our end with a result missing or messed up. Please let me know and I'll try to fix it.