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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.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Great to see some of the best tennis in the state Thursday

Congrats to Clarkston on a hard-fought OAA Red Tournament (and overall) championship Thursday in Troy. It wasn't easy. The Wolves had a sub in at each three and five doubles, yet still found a way to edge out Seaholm for the tourney title (43 to 42 points).
Lexi Baylis, Isabella Spindler, Dana Olsen, Katie Hubregsen scored 27 out of a possible 28 points in the singles competition to lead the way. And Paige Olsen and Alex Whall did their thing at 1-dubs, winning as they have all season long. Caitlin McCaghy and Mackenzie Sowers may have been the biggest difference-makers for the team, however. The fourth-seeded team at 4-doubles reached the finals, scoring six big points for their team.
There were several other highlights on the day - at least from this sportswriter's perspective:
West Bloomfield's Raven Neely.
  • It was nice to finally get a chance to see West Bloomfield play. I know rain hit everyone hard, but every time I wanted to go out and see the Lakers play, rain postponed their match. I had wanted to see Raven Neely and Aerielle Pendleton play. And I was really impressed. I saw the last half of Neely's match with Baylis and then saw a great battle between she and Halle Hyman in the consolation final. Just a freshman, she's the future of OAA Red tennis. And seeing the Pendleton-Spindler final at 2-singles was a real treat, too. Pendleton won in three great sets. 
  • Speaking of treats. Kind of surreal to be watching the No. 1 draw play out at Athens. Baylis looked phenomenal in her win over Lahser's Mollie Fox in the final. They were the top-two seeds, deservedly so. But then to look at the opposite end of the courts and see Neely and Hyman squaring off for 3rd-4th, and then glance to the right and see Seaholm's Labina Petrovska and Andover's Kerry Hu battling it our for 5th-6th, that was impressive. So much talent.
  • There were several great performances on the day - not all necessarily resulting in victories. West Bloomfield's Sara Cahn pushed Dana Olsen to the limit in the finals at 3-singles. Shouldn't have come as a big surprise, though, as Cahn took Olsen three sets during the regular season as well. But Olsen is unbeaten on the year, so it was another good showing for Cahn. Hubregsen has continued to play well of late. The two seed beat top-seeded Meryl Reams of Lahser in three sets (the last coming via a default with a 3-0 lead). She's going to be key if the Wolves want to win their second state title in three years. At No. 1 doubles, Paige Olsen and Whall beat Seaholm's Nancy Benda and Jackie Meier in three sets in the finals. That's actually a good showing by both teams, which should be 1-seeds at the Division 1 and 2 state tournaments. And it's quite possible the two teams may see each other again this weekend at the Holly Volley Swingabout tournament. Seaholm's Rachel Wilson and Laine Boitos looked really solid in winning the No. 2 doubles title. They didn't drop any more than two games in their semifinal and final wins over Andover and Troy. And at No. 5 doubles, Andover's Leslie Alter and Hanna Klayman came out of the 4-seed position to win the flight championship, knocking off both top-seeded Troy and 2-seeded Seaholm.
  • In the end four out of nine top seeds won flight championships (Baylis at #1 and Olsen at #3 singles, and Olsen-Whall at #1 doubles and Lillian Liang-Deepthi Devireddy at #3 doubles).
Now that the OAA Red tourney is completed. The OAA White and Blue tournaments are slated for Saturday, along with the KLAA and Catholic League tourneys. Busy day. Hope all the tournament directors can get me their information (team scores and flight championship results) by 7-8 p.m. Saturday (email and please. You can also call (248) 745-4775 from 5-8 p.m. Good luck to all teams involved.

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