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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 15, 2013

Tennis regional predictions

The season is drawing to a close. League championships have been played. Regionals are here. I'm going to take a stab at who'll make it out of our local regions. To qualify, a team must finish among the top two at its regional, or finish with 18 or more points. At those regions where there are eight teams or fewer, any team with 10 or more points - in addition to the automatic qualifiers - also makes it out.
Here's a look at all of Oakland County's teams and my predictions on who will make it out. Good luck to all. May this provide you with the necessary fuel needed to get the job done. I'll see some of you Thursday and Friday.


at Novi – Friday
(Brighton, Walled Lake Northern, Hartland, Howell, Lakeland, Milford, Northville, Novi, Pinckney, Walled Lake Central, Walled Lake Western)
Automatic qualfiers: Northville, Novi
Additional qualifiers: Brighton 
My thoughts: Northville is the class of this region. It'll come down to Novi and Brighton battling it out for the second automatic berth. Like the KLAA tournament, they may tie. I think they'll both score enough to get through, anyway.

at Grosse Pointe South – Thursday
(Detroit Cass Tech, Detroit-East English Village Prep Academy, Fraser, Grosse Pointe South, Sterling Heights, Sterling Heights Stevenson, Troy, Troy Athens, Warren Mott, Warren Cousino)
Automatic qualfiers: Grosse Pointe South, Troy
Additional qualifiers: None 
My thoughts: Defending state champs (GPS), check. One of the best doubles lineups in the state (Troy), check. Not a lot of points left over for Troy Athens, the only other team with a chance to get through. I think the Red Hawks narrowly miss out, just like last year.

at Rochester Hills-Rochester - Friday
(Clarkston, Farmington Hills Mercy, Lake Orion, Oxford, Rochester, Rochester Adams, Royal Oak, Stoney Creek, Waterford Kettering, Waterford Mott, West Bloomfield)
Automatic qualfiers: Clarkston, Farmington Hills Mercy
Additional qualifiers: West Bloomfield 
My thoughts: Seriously, this much talent in one region? Clarkston is a shoe-in to win the region. Mercy will probably finish second thanks to a solid singles lineup and a very good doubles crew. West Bloomfield will ride its singles talent (Raven Neely, Aerielle Pendleton, Sara Cahn) and depth for an at-large berth - wouldn't surprise me if they get the other automatic berth. Halle Hyman (Adams) vs. Neely in the semifinals with team and individual berths on the line. Should be awesome.


at North Farmington - Friday
(Bloomfield Hills Andover, Bloomfield Hills Lahser, Dexter, Farmington, Farmington Hills Harrison,
Garden City, North Farmington, Pontiac, South Lyon) 
Automatic qualfiers: Bloomfield Hills Andover, North Farmington
Additional qualifiers: Bloomfield Hills Lahser 
My thoughts: Another region with tremendous depth and balance. Andover wins the region because of its doubles. North Farmington and Lahser tied 4-4 during the regular season. It would be easy to see them both getting to 18 points. But Harrison's singles lineup has some upset potential. It's all about the draws - which I have not seen!

at Birmingham Groves - Thursday
(Auburn Hills Avondale, Berkley, Birmingham Groves, Birmingham Marian, Birmingham Seaholm, Detroit Cody, Redford Union, Redford Thurston, Southfield, Southfield-Lathrup)   
Automatic qualfiers: Birmingham Seaholm, Birmingham Marian
Additional qualifiers: None 
My thoughts: The only qualifying question here is whether Southfield's Lauren Hughes can defeat Marian's Elaine Apaza in the bottom half of the semifinal. If she can, she'll make her first individual appearance at the state finals. If not, it's a Seaholm-Marian dual in the finals. Marian beat Seaholm 5-3 two weeks ago. This time I see them splitting (4-4). If you lined me up at the net with 12 players ready to fire first serves at me, forcing me to make a call, I'll give the slight edge to Seaholm, where its doubles will come to play this time around.

at  Fenton - Thursday
(Alpena, Clio, Fenton, Flint Kearsley, Flushing, Holly, Lapeer East, Lapeer West, Ortonville-Brandon, Saginaw Arthur Hill, Swartz Creek)
Automatic qualfiers: Holly, Fenton
Additional qualifiers: None 
My thoughts: Refer back to the Flint Metro League tournament if you want to know how this region will play out. Then again, with all the close matches at that tourney, perhaps Lapeer West could sneak in as an at-large qualifier. Holly should win. Fenton should score 20-plus points and easily get through. But can Lapeer West win a couple big semifinal matches and not fall victim to any early upsets?


at Chelsea – Friday
(Adrian, Carleton-Airport, Chelsea, Dearborn Heights Annapolis, Dearborn Heights Robichaud  
Dearborn Divine Child, New Boston-Huron, Parma Western, Romulus, South Lyon East, Trenton)
Automatic qualfiers: Chelsea, Trenton
Additional qualifiers: None 
My thoughts: I would be lying if I said I knew anything about the teams in this region. So the safe bet was to go with who made it out last year. Doesn't really matter. We all know who's going to win the Division 3 state title, and the qualifiers out of this region will be lucky to put up a combined six points at states.

at Detroit Country Day - Thursday
(Birmingham Detroit Country Day, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood, Center Line, Detroit International Academy, Detroit Northwestern, Detroit Osborn, Detroit Pershing, Ferndale, Hazel Park, Madison Heights Lamphere, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep)
Automatic qualfiers: Cranbrook, Country Day
Additional qualifiers: None 
My thoughts: It pains me to think that Notre Dame Prep may miss out on qualifying by a single point. But it could happen, if the seeds hold up. The good thing is that the Irish will have every opportunity to get to 10 points, seeing as how they'll face Country Day in every semifinal. Cranbrook will sweep this region on its way to a potential state sweep in two weeks.


at Ann Arbor Greenhills - Thursday
(Allen Park Cabrini, Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard, Ann Arbor Greenhills, Grosse Ile, Livonia Ladywood, Monroe St Mary Catholic Central, Onsted, Riverview Gabriel Richard, Royal Oak Shrine, West Bloomfield Frankel Jewish Academy) 
Automatic qualfiers: Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard, Monroe St. Mary's Catholic Central
Additional qualifiers: Grosse Ile 
My thoughts: OK, I'm gonna dummy myself down and just say it ... this is DUMB. Richard is your #2 ranked team in the state. Grosse Ile is #3. St. Mary's is #4. And Greenhills is tied for 10th. The Jewish Academy may very well have the best player in the division - Alex D'Ascenzo. So there will be some very deserving girls not making it to Kalamazoo. 

at Almont – Friday
(Algonac, Almont, Bloomfield Hills Academy Of The Sacred Heart, Clarkston Everest Collegiate/WOLL, Clawson, Flint Southwestern Classical Academy, Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett, Imlay City, Madison Heights Bishop Foley, Marine City, Mt. Morris EA Johnson) 
Automatic qualfiers: Sacred Heart, Liggett
Additional qualifiers: Clarkston Everest Collegiate/WOLL 
My thoughts: Sacred Heart is the No. 1 team in the state and will cruise to the regional - and eventual - state championship. Now that that is out of the way, can Everest/WOLL get through? To be honest, I don't know much about Lee Keating's team. But I've heard they have talent. And I know this isn't your usual Liggett team. So I'm betting on Everest/WOLL getting through.

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