Okemos swept all four singles brackets while earning its third straight CAAC Blue league tennis title on Thursday, narrowly defeating runner-up Grand Ledge and third-place finisher East Lansing.
“I’m really proud of the way our girls played all day,” Okemos coach Lisa Semerly said. “They kept their composure in some really tough, important matches today, and they stepped up all day.
“It was so tight all the way down the line,” Semerly added. “No one really thought it was done until the very end. The competition was tight all day long.”
Though the Chiefs won the league title outright, the point totals for Okemos and East Lansing are still undecided. due to darkness, the championship first flight doubles match was called at 5-5 during the second set between Okemos’ Keerthana Kolisetty and Natasha Chinoy, who won the first set, and East Lansing’s Sarah Brainard and Emily Volovek.
Okemos scored enough total points before the No. 1 doubles to win the tournament regardless, but the match will be finished today or Monday at Eastern to determine a league champion and regional seeding for those two doubles teams.
In the No. 1 singles flight, Okemos’s Emily Struble defeated Grand Ledge’s Lauren Sharp, 6-4 and 6-0. In the second, third and fourth singles finals, Okemos did not allow the Comets to win a game, and finished all three matches at 6-0 in two sets each.
In the second flight singles final, Monika Francsics defeated Grand Ledge’s Kitt Sharp, Catherine Wingrove defeated Grand Ledge’s Emily Orlando in third singles final, and Kylie Wilkinson defeated Ursula Costa in fourth singles.
Despite failing to capture any individual league championships, Grand Ledge edged East Lansing for the second- place position by one or two points, depending on the No. 1 doubles result.
“This group knows how to step it up for tournament play,” Grand Ledge coach Mike Ritchey said. “They realized that every win was important, and they worked very hard to play in six finals matches today.”
Though East Lansing won the two, three and four doubles titles, Grand Ledge took second placein six finals, including all four singles finals and the third and fourth doubles brackets.
“Everyone played well, but our three and four doubles teams really came through for us,” Ritchey added.
“They played all the way into the finals and that was very important.”
In the fourth flight doubles final, Grand Ledge’s Kailee Moran and Hannah Trezise defeated East Lansing;s Elizabeth Beckett and Megan Heck 9-7 in the first set tiebreaker, but the Trojans came back to win 6-2 and 6-3 in the next two sets.
In second flight doubles, East Lansing’s Allie Buehler and Molly Ring defeated Holt’s Shelby Verlinde and Hannah Whiteman, 6-3 in the first set and 6-4 in the second set.
Sisters Anna and Maleeha Ahmad defeated Grand Ledge’s Kaleigh Merz and Ivanna Mendoza 6-2 and 6-3 to take the third flight doubles title.
“Once again, our doubles teams stepped up today,” East Lansing coach Cosette Buckberry said. “I’m very proud of all our girls for all the effort they put out there on the courts.”
“We knew it was head to head with Grand Ledge all day, but we just wanted to go point by point in every match,” Buckberry added.
Thanks in part to Holt’s No. 2 doubles finish, the Rams finished fourth place with 41 points.
Jackson took fifth place with 37 points.
Everett edged Eastern for sixth place by one point, totaling 19 points to the Quaker’s 18 points. Sexton finished in eighth place with five points.