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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 4, 2012

Novi-Brother Rice - THE MATCH

Finally. I've been waiting a couple weeks to see Novi and Birmingham Brother Rice square off on the tennis court.
It finally took place Wednesday afternoon. But nothing was necessarily decided. The teams tied, 4-4. I thought it would be a 4-4, perhaps a 5-3 match. The lineups were mostly intact, with the exception of Novi missing regular Andre Liu at No. 2 singles. George Hamaty beat Liu's replacement, Moynawk Gangopadhyay 6-1, 6-0.
Would Liu have given Hamaty a better match? No doubt. But that's going to be a key flight at states. Liu lost to Ann Arbor Huron's Kevin Mei last week at No. 2 singles. Hamaty will get his chance to see Mei next week when Brother Rice hosts the Hurons.
The good thing about Wednesday's match was that there were four three-set matches. Those are the kind of matches that could go either way the next time around. Novi's depth at singles was evident, with the Wildcats winning three of four matches. And Brother Rice's doubles showed some depth too, winning at 2-3-4.
Here's the box score from the match:

SINGLES — Tim Wang (N) d. Gunnar Peery 6-4, 6-2; Jack Hamaty (BR) d. Moynawk Gangopadhyay 6-1, 6-0; Koushik Kondapi (N) d. Chase Peery 3-6, 6-2, 6-1; Pavan Rao (N) d. Michael Ciraci 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
DOUBLES — Jason Carless-Andrew Ying (N) d. Blake Hildebrand-Gavin McNulty 6-0, 6-2; George Hamaty-Connor Parks (BR) d. Michael Chang-Nishant Kakar 3-6, 6-1, 6-1; Joey Hildebrand-Johnny Cameron (BR) d. Jon Thompson-Maxx Anderson 6-4, 4-6, 6-3; David Weatherford-Brendan Dillon (BR) d. Shashank Chitta-Kevin Xu 6-1, 6-4
RECORDS — Novi 9-1-1 overall; Brother Rice 14-1-1

Wildcats now No. 1
Last week's win over Ann Arbor Huron propelled Novi into the No. 1 spot in the latest Division 1 state tennis rankings. As I've said before, it was really just a matter of time. Brother Rice will get its chance to show the committee it belongs above the Hurons itself. The Warriors remained No. 3 overall. Troy stayed still at No. 5.
Rochester Adams entered the rankings, at No. 6, while Stoney Creek moved up a couple spots to No. 8.
In Division 2, Andover (#6), Seaholm (#7) and Groves (#10) remain in the rankings. And Country Day (#1) and Cranbrook (#4) held their positions in Division 3.

Congrats to Holly, Spencer Navarre
The Holly boys made it look easy on Tuesday, winning its 20th-straight Flint Metro League championship. The Bronchos had seven of eight flights reach the finals, with all four doubles teams taking home flight championships. Parker Rowse and Craig Richards, Taylor Mills and Zac Goodrich, Parker Cuthbert and Aaron Vergith and Gunnar LaFave and Morgan Baylis were all victorious for Holly.
Ortonville-Brandon senior Spencer Navarre became the first player in league history to win four straight No. 1 singles league titles. So congratulations to Spencer.

OAA Red and White hold serve
There weren't too many surprises at the top at Tuesday's OAA Red and White tournaments. Troy was unbeaten in league play and finished atop the tournament in the Red. Adams, which finished 5-2 in league play, finished a solid second. Groves was third in the league, and finished the same in the tournament.
The same could be said for the White. Seaholm and Athens were 1-2 in the league season and finished far and away on top of the tournament. Each won four flight championships.
Click here for the complete story.

Upcoming league tournaments
The OAA Blue Tournament is being held today (Thursday) at Farmington (1-4 singles) and Harrison (1-4 doubles). Farmington enters the tournament unbeaten in league play and the favorite to take home the title. Harrison may provide a challenge, with Royal Oak and Ferndale behind them.
The KLAA Association Tournament will be played Saturday at Plymouth Canton Educational Park. Novi enters as the favorite - as the No. 1 team in the state should. Its biggest challenge will come from No. 4 Northville.
The Catholic League Tournament will be held Saturday as well. Brother Rice earned top seeds at seven of eight flights, with Catholic Central's Michael Dube' earning the top seed at No. 1 singles.

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