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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.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Tennis league championships are closing in

North Farmington's Maria Vicini (above) and
Groves' Mikayla Kazdan (below).
(The Oakland Press/JASON SCHMITT)
On Monday, North Farmington and Birmingham Groves set up what should be an exciting OAA White tennis tournament this Saturday. The two teams entered the match 6-0, with the regular season title on the line.
The Raiders won the match, 5-3, and should enter the tourney as the favorite. But Groves will have something to say come Saturday afternoon. On Monday, The two teams split in singles, with North winning at No. 1 (Arti Vaishnav beating Mikayla Kazdan in three sets) and No. 2 (Rachel Gringlas beating Shayna Brickman in straight sets. Claudia Fuderer and Katie Weitzel answered for the Falcons at Nos. 3-4.
North's doubles looked really good, as Sarah Tobin and Maria Vicini beat Kelly Greer and Kasey Rechter 6-2, 6-3 at No. 1 doubles. Tobin is quite a presence at the net and this team should have no problems come Saturday. Groves' Rayven Goodwin and Claire Nader needed three sets to win at No. 2 doubles, as did North's Shannon Kelly and Dania Abdulhamid at No. 4. Alyssa Cutcher and Ashley Sauerbrey won in straight sets at No. 3 for the Raiders. Kyra Cutcher missed the match due to an injury. So that was a nice win for North.
The seed meeting for the tournament is Thursday. The Raiders and Falcons should find themselves on the 1-2 seed lines at most flights. But Troy Athens and Rochester won't make things easy. There's still a lot of talent on the court for the Red Hawks and Falcons, too.

OAA Red tourney set to go
I know the coaches aren't thrilled about the OAA Red Tournament these days. With the amount of talent in this county, I understand the big prize (a state championship) is within reach of a couple of our schools. But this tournament is so loaded with individual and team talent, that I look forward to it each and every year. No league in the state can boast of this much talent. When you have a player like Kerry Hu (Andover) - who finished runner-up at the Division 2 state finals last year - as the No. 6 seed in the No. 1 singles draw, you know just how talented this league is.
The tournament will be held at three sites in Troy on Thursday. Clarkston finished the league season 6-0. Seaholm was 5-1. Andover and Troy were 3-3. West Bloomfield (2-3) and Lahser (1-4) have yet to play their final match. And Adams, which boasts a tremendous amount of talent at the top of its singles lineup, finished 0-6.
The featured draw is of course at No. 1 singles. Clarkston's Lexi Baylis is the top seed and will get a bye in the first round. In her half of the draw is the 4-seed (Raven Neely of West Bloomfield) and 5-seed (Labina Petrovska of Seaholm). Lahser's Mollie Fox is the 2-seed and will face Troy's Amanda Guo (#7) in her first match. The winner gets the winner of #3 Halle Hyman of Adams and Hu.
I'm also intrigued by the great No. 2 singles draw. Clarkston freshman Isabella Spindler has been fantastic this year and is the 1-seed. On the opposite end of the draw is West Bloomfield's Aerielle Pendleton, at #2. Spindler won the regular season matchup 6-4, 6-1. I'd like to see the rematch.
Clarkston's Dana Olsen and Seaholm's Claire Markley are 1-2 at No. 3 singles. Olsen beat Markley 6-1, 6-4 in their dual. And at No. 4 singles, Lahser's Meryl Reams got the nod for the top seed, with Clarkston's Katie Hubregsen opposite her at #2.
In doubles, Clarkston's Paige Olsen and Alex Whall have been the class of the entire state this season. They're #1 at No. 1 doubles and will be heavy favorites. On the 2-3 line, Seaholm's Nancy Benda and Jackie Meier are on a collision course with Troy's Kalie Collins and Brittany Friesen - for the right to get to the finals. That should be a good one.
Troy's 2-5 doubles teams all received #1 seeds. Hope and Claire Keating, Lillian Liang and Deepthi Devireddy, Katie Forche and Leena Penumalee, and JulieAnn Fava and Anna Balas are all on the top line. Seaholm is on the #2 line for all those flights.

KLAA Tourney set for Saturday
Novi will be hosting the KLAA Tournament this Saturday. The hosts will be one of the favorites - as they always are - along with Northville. The Mustangs handed the Wildcats their only league loss of the season, 7-2. Northville swept the singles competition that day and took three of five doubles flights. Novi's Caitlin O'Brien and Amy Zhou (at No. 1 doubles) and Rebecca Chen and Asawari Kanitkar (at No. 3 doubles) picked up the team's lone wins.
Walled Lake Northern finished a perfect 5-0 in the KLAA North Division, with Lakeland finishing runner-up at 4-1. Walled Lake Western was third (3-2), followed by Walled Lake Central (2-3), Kettering and Mott (both 0-4).

Marian, Mercy the favorites at the CHSL tourney Saturday
The Mustangs - ranked No. 1 in the latest Division 2 state rankings - and Mercy - No. 4 in the latest D-1 rankings - will most likely battle it out for the league championship Saturday. Marian beat Mercy 5-3 during the regular season, but there have been some lineup changes since then. Both teams earned three top seeds, with Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard and Sacred Heart getting one each. Jessie Guindi's move to the singles lineup strengthened the Marlins up top. But it's yet to be seen how that will affect the doubles matchups - which had three 3-setters in their dual match against Marian.

Farmington on top of the OAA Blue
The Falcons ran the gauntlet of the OAA Blue and will be the clear favorites at Saturday's league tournament, being hosted by Southfield. The matches will be played at Birmingham Groves, Seaholm and Southfield-Lathrup.
Farmington finished unbeaten in league play. Avondale, Royal Oak and Southfield - in that order - finished behind the Falcons. Though the seed meeting will not be held until Thursday night, Southfield's Lauren Hughes will be the top seed at No. 1 singles. The senior is a three-time defending league champion.

UPDATE: Holly wins Flint Metro League Tournament
Here are the results of Tuesday's league tournament:

Flint Metro League Tournament
TEAM SCORES — Holly 61, Fenton 49, Lapeer West 43, Clio 38, Swartz Creek 31, Lapeer East 27, Ortonville-Brandon 26, Flint Kearsley 13
CHAMPIONSHIP SINGLES — 1. Madison Ballard (F) d. Natalie Clink (H) 6-2, 6-1; 2. Victoria Skubik (H) d. MacKenzie Welker (LW) 6-3, 6-2; 3. Blake Clements (LW) d. Alex Knight (H) 6-0, 7-5; 4. Jenna Pepper (H) d. Josie Foguth (F) 6-3, 6-1
CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLES — 1. Carley Postma-Sydney Renehan (H) d. Lilly DuBois-Emily McIntosh (F) 7-5, 7-5; 2. Ashley Bearden-Hanna Horton (F) d. Daryl Spurgeon-Haley Crimmins (H) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2; 3. Alahah Rau-Leah Moller (H) d. Lindsey Zietz-Madaleine Paul (C) 6-2, 6-0; 4. Katherine Skubik-Claire Young (H) d. Sylee Kiran-Katie Kurycz (F) 6-4, 6-4
FINAL LEAGUE STANDINGS (Regular season and tournament combined): 1. Holly; 2. Fenton; 3. Lapeer West; 4. Clio; 5. Lapeer East; 6. Swartz Creek; 7. Ortonville-Brandon; 8. Flint Kearsley

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