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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, May 30, 2013

Girls tennis finals predictions - 2013

Back by popular demand - my 2013 girls tennis finals predictions. I filled out my bracket - including the winners of every match - in each of the four divisions. Now, I do not intend on exposing those picks here for the sake of the players, but I do intend on letting everyone know of my team predictions, as well as each my projected championship matches this weekend.
In case you are wondering how I did last year, you can view that blog HERE.


Grosse Pointe South 25, Clarkston 23, Port Huron Northern 22, Farmington Hills Mercy 21, Northville 16, Troy 15, Ann Arbor Huron 14, West Bloomfield 13, Ann Arbor Pioneer 11, Traverse City Central 9, Midland Dow 9, Novi 8, Troy Athens 5, Utica 5, Saline 4, Hudsonville 2, Grand Blanc 2, Holland West-Ottawa 1, Utica Eisenhower 0, Kalamazoo Central 0, Dearborn 0, Livonia Franklin 0, Livonia Stevenson 0

Thoughts: Clarkston has the most talent at the tournament. Grosse Pointe South has the most depth. Port Huron Northern has the most balanced lineup. So who wins the title? As is the case in any sport where your last starter is as important as your first, I like South's chances to repeat. I've got the Blue Devils scoring at all flights, reaching the semifinals at six and winning 3-4 doubles. If this were a five-flight tournament, Clarkston wins running away. But the Wolves — if they want a chance at winning their second title in three years — will have to score more than the three points I see them getting out of their 2-3-4 doubles teams. If they can, then they have a shot. If PHN can score some points at 4-doubles, they have a chance as well. Mercy is a wild card. The Marlins are balanced, much like GPS, but may not be able to score enough points on Day 2 to make a push for a title.They may prove to be a spoiler to one or more of the top contending teams (see also, Troy, whose doubles teams are scary). I picked against Spindler-Pendelton (part 4) at 2-singles, though if it happened, it would be a great match. My best bet to win a state title: Paige Olsen and Alex Whall at 1-dubs. They've beaten everyone this year — including the two teams I've picked to win state titles in divisions 2-3. And they've beaten them each twice.

Predicted flight finalists
1S Davina Nguyen (Utica) d. Mary Hanna (Saline)
2S Isabella Spindler (Clarkston) d. Lizzie Brozovich (PHN)
3S Dana Olsen (Clarkston) d. Rae Brozovich (PHN)
4S Jessie Guindi (Mercy) d. Madie Flournoy (GPS)
1D Paige Olsen-Alex Whall (Clarkston) d. Fran Basha-Alexis Wirtz (PHN)
2D Hope Keating-Claire Keating (Troy) d. Jordan Hermiz-Elizabeth Sakorafis (Northville)
3D Kate Krueger-Angelica Kalogeridis (GPS) d. Christy Snyder-Julia Shaw (Mercy)
4D Morgane Flournoy-Kelly Beardslee (GPS) d. Shannon Williams-Libby Quinn (Northville)

Birmingham Marian 29, Birmingham Seaholm 27, Bloomfield Hills Andover 21, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern 18, Okemos 16, Mason 13, Bloomfield Hills Lahser 12, East Grand Rapids 12, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central 11, Portage Central 11, North Farmington 8, Battle Creek Lakeview 8, Grosse Pointe North 7, East Lansing 6, Richland Gull Lake 5, Holly 2, Fenton 2, SCS Lakeview 1, Riverview 0, Allen Park 0, Dearborn Heights Crestwood 0

Thoughts: Boy, where to begin. I've gone back and forth on who I think will win. And I would not be surprised one bit if Seaholm picks up an extra win or two, or Marian drops a match I did not predict, and the Maples win by a point. But as it stands, I just like Marian's draws much better. Seven seeds, none lower than a 3, including six 1 or 2 seeds, means the Mustangs should reach Day 2 in all seven. That's 21 points right there. I believe that where each team has an advantage over the other, seeding has come into play. Seaholm has tough draws at 2-singles and 3-doubles. Marian has great draws at those flights. Andover also has seven seeds, but four of them are 4-5 seeds, meaning they'll run into the 1-seed at those flights. The Barons should make their presence felt, but it would be tough for them to challenge the Maples and Mustangs. This, if it happens, will be the final match between Kerry Hu (Andover) and Mollie Fox (Lahser), as high school opponents. They are on track to face each other in the semifinals. Fox is the 1-seed, Hu the 4. They'll be teammates next year. Lahser has a good chance to finish in the top-10. The Knights will also play a key role in the head-to-head battle between Seaholm and Marian. Fox faces Marian's Elaine Apaza in the second round, while 2-seeded Meryl Reams is on the same half of the 4-singles draw as Seaholm's Rachel Fenberg. If she advances past Fenberg (or Forest Hills Northern's Sidney Whitfield), she may very well face Marian's Catherine Yaldoo in the final. 

Predicted flight finalists
1S Sara Remynse (Gull Lake) d. Mollie Fox (Lahser)
2S Emily Struble (Okemos) d. Lauren Dietz (Marian)
3S Claire Markley (Seaholm) d. Breann Lunghamer (Marian)
4S Catherine Yaldoo (Marian) d. Meryl Reams (Lahser)
1D Nancy Benda-Jackie Meier (Seaholm) d. Victoria Minzlaff-Shelby Moored (FHN)
2D Rachel Wilson-Laine Boitos (Seaholm) d. Tatyanna Dadabbo-Sally Thoresen (Marian)
3D Bianca Emde-Tatum Schwartz (Marian) d. Alana Gutman-Jenna Yousif (Andover)
4D Charlotte Garrison-Madison Lorenz (Andover) d. Lauren Benderoff-Sam Lareau (Seaholm)

Cranbrook-Kingswood 40, Country Day 24, Allegan 21, Holland Christian 18, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern 18, St. Clair 14, Haslett 14, GR Catholic Central 13, GR South Christian 10, Spring Lake 10, DeWitt 6, Whitehall 5, Cadillac 3, Edwardsburg 2, Chelsea 2, Parma Western 2, Sturgis 1, BC Harper Creek 1, Armada 1, Trenton 0

Thoughts: Yes, I predicted Cranbrook to sweep the finals. I tried to talk myself out of it. I tried to find a chink in the Cranes' armor, but I couldn't. Alexandria Najarian is the best player in the state. Anna Short and Allison Motea have proven to be the best 2-3 singles combination in the state. Sarah Lipworth is a seasoned veteran playing 4-singles. The only possible threat — in my opinion — is Country Day's Madelyn Karoub at 2-singles. She's a smart player. But Short is the favorite. The seeding committee did what they could to derail a Cranbrook sweep of #1 seeds. Allegan is the 1-seed at #1 doubles, with Country Day's Jane Ziecik and Ellie Miller holding down the 2-seed. Cranbrook's Alissa Rowens and Meg Phyle are at #3. Talk about fuel. And at #2, the Cranes' Kendra Sweet and Christina Roualet are the 2-seed, behind Allegan. No losses, just a couple scores against common opponents  taken into consideration. Look for Cranbrook to win at 1-2 doubles. And their 3-4 doubles (Briana Letica-Holly Meers and Lauren Lanzon and Emily Harvey) are pretty much a lock to win state titles. So in the end, yes, I see a sweep on the horizon. 

Predicted flight finalists
1S Alexandria Najarian (Cranbrook) d. Sydney Liggins (GRCC)
2S Anna Short (Cranbrook) d. Madelyn Karoub (Country Day)
3S Allison Motea (Cranbrook) d. Haley Mullins (Country Day)
4S Sarah Lipworth (Cranbrook) d. Sarah Carroll (Country Day)
1D Alissa Rowens-Meg Phyle (Cranbrook) d. Christin Drozd-Kaycee Harness (Allegan)
2D Kendra Sweet-Christina Roualet (Cranbrook) d. Blake Day-Emmarie Gorby (Allegan)
3D Briana Letica-Holly Meers (Cranbrook) d. Taylor Orr-Carlie Vanklompenberg (Allegan)
4D Lauren Lanzon-Emily Harvey (Cranbrook) d. Saja Fadda-Mariah Chapin (GRFHE)

Sacred Heart 29, Grosse Ile 25, Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard 20, Williamston 18, Lansing Catholic Central 17, Traverse City St. Francis 16, Monroe St. Mary CC 15, Portland 14, Kalamazoo Christian 12, Grandville Calvin Christian 11, North Muskegon 9, GR Northpointe Christian 8, Jackson Lumen Christi 7, Liggett 5, Ludington 5, Kalamazoo Hackett 5, Harbor Springs 4, Saginaw Nouvel 3, Clarkston Everest Collegiate/WOLL 1, Niles Brandywine 1, Berrien Springs 0, Frankenmuth 0, Hemlock 0, Paw Paw 0

Thoughts: Sacred Heart is a perfect definition of a deep team. There is talent from top to bottom. And that bodes well in Division 4. The Gazelles are favored in 2-3-4 doubles, earning the top seed at each flight. If you look at some of their tournament results from the regular season —- particularly those against D4's other top teams — you'll see why. Sarah Spangler and Heidi Lemon (2-dubs) Kendall Lehmann and Hannah Gerard (3-dubs) and Elia Wilson and Gretchen Lemon (4-dubs) dominated the competition within the division. I see them all picking up state championships on Saturday in Kalamazoo. I also predicted a doubles sweep for Sacred Heart — with Kelsey Nagle and Emily Nash avenging an earlier-season loss to Williamston's Delaney Nikolai and Caitlin Chick in the finals. And don't think all the talent lies in doubles. The Gazelles' doubles lineup will put the team in a position to win a second straight state title, but Tyler Papazian, Abby Hildebrand, Teresa Walawender and Tate Lehmann will prove to be the difference.

Predicted flight finalists
1S Meika Ashby (K-Zoo Hackett) d. Colleen O'Brien (AA Gabriel Richard)
2S Anjali Sood (AA Gabriel Richard) d. Brianna Riley (Grosse Ile)
3S Audrey Bouma (K-Zoo Christian) d. Maddy Szuba (AA Gabriel Richard)
4S Alexandra Latala (Grosse Ile) d. Tate Lehmann (Sacred Heart)
1D Kelsey Nagle-Emily Nash (Sacred Heart) d. Delaney Nikolai-Caitlin Chick (Williamston)
2D Sarah Spangler-Heidi Lemon (Sacred Heart) d. Alex Carney-Katherine Kuzmiak (Grosse Ile)
3D Kendall Lehmann-Hannah Gerard (Sacred Heart) d. Kelli Bowes-Molly Huisingh (N. Muskegon)
4D Elia Wilson-Gretchen Lemon (Sacred Heart) d. Rose Tucker-Casey Guthrie (Grosse Ile) 

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