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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.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Midwest Closed Central - What's happening

Novi's Tim Wang won the Boys 16 singles title
at the Midwest Closed tournament Thursday.
Novi junior-to-be Tim Wang capped off a tremendous week of tennis by defeating Austin Hussey of Kentucky in the Boys 16 championship match this morning. He won seven matches over six days, capping it all off with a 7-6 (3), 6-3 victory over Hussey. Wang, the fifth seed, defeated the Nos. 1, 4, 10, 16 and 21 seeds along the way.
Over in the backdraw of Boys 18, Jack Murray opened up his day with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Davis Crocker of Kalamazoo. Up next, right now, is a matchup with Felix Corwin of Wisconsin in the semifinals.
Alexandria Najarian, who was dealing with a little back pain yesterday, tried to get things going in her 3rd/4th place match in Girls 18, but retired late in the first set against Anna Sanford of Ohio.
Oakland County was probably deepest in the Girls 16 draw. That was evident today, as Marybeth Hurley knocked off Halle Hyman in the consolation semifinals this afternoon. Hurley beat Okemos' Emily Struble in straight sets to open play this morning, while Hyman advanced past Dominique Vasile in the quarterfinals (by injury default).
While we're talking tennis, let's not forget the Closed tournament up in Okemos. Halle's younger brother, Julian Hyman, wrapped up an impressive run all the way to the Boys 12 championship match, where he fell in three sets, 6-1, 4-6, 4-6, to Robert Cash of Ohio. Hyman is ranked No. 1 in Michigan (among 7th graders) and No. 57 nationally. Hyman beat Joe Stafford (CC boys coach Joe Stafford's son) in the semifinals yesterday. Stafford is a 10-year-old playing up. Watch out for these two guys over the next few years!

Just got the update ... Tim Wang has reached the finals of the Boys 16 draw, picking up a 6-4, 6-4 win over #4 Alex Ross in the semifinals. This came after Wang upset of the 1-seed, John McNally of Ohio, in the quarterfinals. He needed three sets, winning 7-6 (5), 1-6, 6-2. Wang, the fifth seed, will now play in the Closed championship tomorrow morning. The wins were huge, as it automatically qualified Wang for the national tournament in Kalamazoo later this summer. The semifinalists in the front draw of the Boys and Girls 16 and 18 divisions get automatic bids, as do the finalists in the back draw.
Lexi Baylis, Alex D'Ascenzo, Alexandria Najarian
and Halle Hyman kill some time during a weather
delay Wednesday morning.
That's good news for Alexandria Najarian, who beat 3-seeded Cassie Mercer of West Virginia, 6-2, 6-3, in her Girls 18 quarterfinal match Wednesday morning before falling to Francesca Dilorenzo (ranked 7th nationally among juniors) in the semifinals, 6-2, 6-4. She'll now play in the 3rd/4th place match Thursday morning.
Consolation (backdraw)
Rain has delayed play a few hours, so the updates are a bit sporadic. But coach Josh Molino has kept me abreast of some late updates. Jack Murray won his two matches on the day in the back draw of the Boys 18 to advance to the quarterfinals on Thursday morning. Michael Dube' also won his first match Wednesday and received an injury default in his second, moving him on to the quarterfinals. Max Fliegner's tournament ended with a loss to Nick Dykema in the morning, as did Brett Forman's.
Halle Hyman topped Sophia Abelson 6-3, 6-4 and will take on Dominique Vasile, who lost her front draw quarterfinal match Wednesday morning. Marybeth Hurley also won twice, beating Caroline McAuley and Paige Cooley, and will play Thursday morning in the Girls 16 backdraw.
In Girls 18 action, Lexi Baylis fell to Mehvish Safdar in her first match of the day. Alex D'Ascenzo lost to Brienne Minor, ending her tournament.
Both Connor Johnston, and Justin Hyman, had their Boys 16 tournaments end in the fourth round. Hyman fell to the 6-seed, Nathan Griffin, while Johnston - the 3-seed himself - lost to #24 Mason Dragos in three sets, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3).

Not a good day at all in Indy. Kind of a black Tuesday, so to speak. First, the good:
Novi's Tim Wang continued his great play, beating Chicago's Gianni Ross 6-3, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the Boys 16 tournament. It's two steps beyond what he did last year. The 5-seed will play the #1 seed, John McNally of Ohio, in Wednesday morning's quarterfinal.
Jack Murray (right) and Connor Johnston warm up
prior to play Tuesday morning.
Also advancing on Tuesday was #3 Dominique Vasile (Oakland Twp.) in the Girls 16 draw. She defeated Karyna Bihel of Chicago in three sets, 2-6, 7-5, 6-1, to reach the quarterfinals, where she will face the 8-seed, Zoe Spence of Chicago, Wednesday morning.
And Alexandria Najarian (Cranbrook) capped off the day with an exciting three-set win (7-5 in the third) over Williamston's Sara Daavettila in the round of 16 in Girls 18 action. It was a match between Top-20 national players in their respective age groups. Najarian is ranked #15 in the nation among seniors. Daavettila is #19 among sophomores. It was the second match in a week between the two - both wins for Najarian. This one was much closer, however. Next up for Najarian is a matchup with Cassie Mercer of West Virginia. The two played back in December, with Najarian winning in three sets. Mercer is ranked #41 in the country among seniors and will be playing at West Virginia next year.
But that's where the good times ended for the local contingent. Marybeth Hurley (Novi) and Sophia Abelson (West Bloomfield) both dropped their round of 16 matches in Girls 16. Connor Johnston (Novi) suffered the same fate in Boys 16.
And over in the Boys 18 round of 16, both Jack Murray (Beverly Hills) and Max Fliegner (Country Day) fell in three sets, while Brett Forman (Troy) also bowed out of the main draw.

It's been an up and down morning for the Oakland County contingent in Monday morning's round of 32 matches. The bulk of the Girls 18 group dropped down to the back draw. The lone survivor was Alexandria Najarian. She beat Lexi Baylis 6-2, 6-3 to reach the round of 16. Up next is Sara Daavettila of Williamston. Najarian beat Daavettila last week in straight sets in the Baird (team) Cup.
Mollie Fox and Alex D'Ascenzo both dropped their morning matches.
On the boys' side, the 18s had a great morning. Jack Murray, Brett Forman and Max Fliegner all picked up wins to move on to round of 16. Murray, the 2-seed, will face 14th-seeded Martin Joyce of Chicago Tuesday morning. Fliegner (15) will take on #3 Aron Hiltzik of Chicago, while Forman (20) will play #11 Riley Reist, who beat Michael Dube' this morning.
Tim Wang and Connor Johnston both advanced in the 16 draw. Five-seeded Wang won a tight, third-set breaker and will now face Gianni Ross of Chicago in the round of 16. Johnston, the 3-seed, will take on unseeded Joseph Thomas of Ohio. Kevin Rothstein lost his match Monday morning.
Back to the girls, Sophia Abelson, Marybeth Hurley and Dominique Vasile all won in straight sets to move on in the Girls 16. Abelson (18) is set to face 7-seeded Isabella Lorenzini of Chicago tomorrow morning. Hurley (4) takes on #9 Christina Zordani of Chicago, while Vasile (3) faces unseeded Karyna Bihel of Chicago.
Halle Hyman lost a heartbreaker, in three sets, to drop down to the consolation draw. Anna Short (23) lost to the 6-seed, Kate Ketels of Kalamazoo, while Marina Selenica fell to Traverse City's Paige Cooley in her morning match.
Vasile and Abelson - the 4-seed - fell to #1 seeded Tiffany Chen (Chicago) and Lauren Goodman (Indiana) in the finals of the Girls 16 doubles draw.

Several of the county's big guns took care of business Sunday in the Boys 18 singles draw. Michael Dube', Brett Forman, Max Fliegner and Jack Murray all advanced to the round of 32 with easy, straight-set wins.
Alex D'Ascenzo and Alex Najarian before
Their doubles match Sunday in Indy.
Richard Zhang lost to Midland's Johnathan Small, Alex Kim fell to Aron Hiltzik of Illinois and Gunnar Peery fell to Vincent Lin of Illinois in their second-round matches.
In the Boys 16 draw, Tim Wang advanced to the round of 32 with a straight-set win. Kevin Rothstein and Connor Johnston did the same. Johnston beat Marc Sable. Justin Hyman fell to the 12th seed, Ian Landwehr, of Indiana.
Mollie Fox beat Christina Jordan to advance in Girls 18 play. Lexi Baylis and Alexandria Najarian both won in straight sets, setting up a round of 32 match between the two Monday morning (10:15 a.m.) Najarian beat Baylis twice this past high school season (once in a match, once in a scrimmage). Alex D'Ascenzo won a tight three setter over Amina Ismail of Ohio, 6-7 (4), 6-0, 7-6 (6).
Kerry Hu lost her match and dropped into the consolation draw.
Among the second round winners in the Girls 16 draw were Sophia Abelson, Marybeth Hurley and Anna Short. Halle Hyman and Marina Selenica also advanced, both picking up big, three-set wins in the second round. Eliza Brown and Allison Motea both dropped matches.
In Doubles action, Fliegner and Forman pressed on, beating Dube' and partner Canyon Teague (of Ohio) to reach the 18 quarterfinals. Wang and partner Mason Dragos (of Ohio) reached the 16 doubles quarters. Johnston and partner Daniel Boussom won in the bottom half of that draw.

After the first day of singles competition at the Midwest Closed tournament in Indianapolis, 26 Oakland County players made it through to the second round, including all 13 seeded players. Play picks back up Sunday morning.
In Boys' 18 doubles action, the team of Max Fliegner (Country Day) and Brett Forman (Troy), my top two ranked county players last fall, teamed up to win their first two matches and will now face Michael Dube' (Catholic Central) and his partner from Ohio, Canyon Teague, in the round of 16 Sunday at 1:45 p.m. Fliegner and Forman are the #7 seed, while Dube' and Teague are #16.
They're all that's left in the 18 draw. Jack Murray (Roeper) and Richard Zhang - the 15-seed - were upset in the second round. Unseeded Tucker Massie (Bloomfield Hills) and Gunnar Peery (Brother Rice) won their first match, but fell in their second.
In the 16 draw, Tim Wang (Novi) and his partner Mason Dragos of Ohio, made it to the round of 16. That fifth-seeded team will play 15th-seeded Jason Kerst and Jack Martin-Dyer Sunday at noon.Connor Johnston (Novi/Northville HS) and partner Daniel Boussom of Indiana - the 2-seed - won their first two matches and also play Sunday at noon in the round of 16.
Justin Hyman (Adams) and Kevin Rothstein (West Bloomfield) won their first doubles match before falling to the 7-seed.
Over on the girls side, Alex D'Ascenzo (Jewish Academy) and Alexandria Najarian (Cranbrook) won a pair of straight set matches to reach the Girls' 18 round of 16. They are the 16-seed.
Dana and Paige Olsen (Clarkston) defeated Labina Petrovska (Seaholm) and her partner, Mason's Abby Perkins, in the first round before falling to the 5-seed. Lexi Baylis (Clarkston) and her partner, Aundrea Busse of Ohio - the #6 seed - received a bye and then lost in the second round. Mollie Fox (Lahser) and Gabriela Rosales of Indiana - the #10 seed - also received a bye before falling in the second round.
In the 16 draw, Sophia Abelson (of West Bloomfield) and Dominique Vasile (of Oakland Twp.) played up to their 4-seed, winning their first two matches easy and will play in the round of 16 Sunday at 3 p.m.
Unseeded Eliza Brown (Jewish Academy) and Marina Selenica (Country Day) won their first match, but fell in the second round. 
Marybeth Hurley (of Novi) and Halle Hyman (Adams) were seeded eighth but fell in the opening round. Unseeded Allison Motea (Cranbrook) and Alex Whall (Clarkston) fell in the first round.

If anyone has any pictures from Indianapolis they'd like to share, I'd love take a look at them. Email them to me at

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