Johnny Sammons, second-year coach of the Coldwater High boys’ tennis team, said he was hoping that his Cardinals could turn in a top-10 finish in the MHSAA Division 3 championships at Kalamazoo College’s Stowe Stadium this weekend.
After Friday’s Day 1 of action in the two-day event, the Cardinals are set up to do just that.
Appearing in the state finals as a team for the first time since 1996, up-and-coming SMAC East powerhouse Coldwater had four of its flights experience elongated success on Friday.
The Cardinals advanced to the state meet by posting 20 points at a D-3 regional at Sturgis last week.
St. Joe was first at the regional with 30 points, Sturgis was second with 21, and third-place Coldwater’s 20 points were more than the 18 needed to make it to state from regionals without a first- or second-place squad finish.
In action at Stowe Stadium in Kalamazoo on Friday:
* At No. 1 singles, junior Derek Sammons — the No. 4 seed and a flight runner-up at regionals — had a first-round bye, and then defeated Mount Pleasant’s Michael Roehmer 6-4, 6-4 in the second round. Sammons was next set to face fifth-seeded Ryan Fedewa of Spring Lake in the quarterfinals.
* At No. 2 singles, sophomore Nate Waterbury won his first-round match 6-0, 6-0 over Cadillac’s Evan Kornacki, but then was eliminated in the second round 6-1, 6-0 by second-seeded Grant Bailey of East Grand Rapids.
* At No. 3 singles, senior Dylan Linklater had a first-round bye, then defeated Cody Durbin of Fowlerville 7-5, 6-1 in the second round. Linklater was next to take on second-seeded Jakob Gahn of Detroit Country Day in the quarterfinals.
* At No. 4 singles, freshman Kumaran Arivoli prevailed 6-1, 6-1 in his first-round match against Chelsea’s Nat Busch, but was then eliminated in the second round 6-0, 6-0 by top-seeded Davis Wong of Detroit Country Day.
* At No. 1 doubles, seniors Ben Hicks and Chris Chartrand had a first-round bye, and then in the second round won 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 over Brad Goral and Jon Schlump of Armana. The duo was next to face top-seeded Blake Burstein and Damian Runkle of Detroit Country Day in the quarterfinals.
* At No. 2 doubles, freshman Austin Butler and junior Buddy Bailey won their first-round match 6-3, 6-3 over Chelsea’s Dennis Spaulding and Marco Macios; but then fell in the second round 6-0, 6-0 to top-seeded Rishabh Nayak and Adam Junn of Country Day.
* At No. 3 doubles, freshmen Keagen Dwyer and Nolan Duda — runners-up at regionals — had a first-round bye, then defeated Dylan Cook and Keenan Kolaik of Cadillac 6-2, 6-1 in the second round. They were next to face second-seeded Jake Los and Scott Edewaard of Holland Christian High in the quartefinals.
* And, at No. 4 doubles, junior Austin Hodson and freshman Kameron Miller — the No. 5 seed and regional champs — had a first-round bye, then lost to unseeded Michael Hostetler and Nick Miehlke of DeWitt 6-3, 6-3 in the second round.