Lakeview High girls’ tennis coach Mike McGinnis has taken his squad to the state finals several times in recent years, but said he couldn’t remember the last time his team won an MHSAA regional title.
McGinnis can now mark “2014” on his calendar for that latest landmark.
The Spartans’ No. 1, 3 and 4 doubles duos all captured flights Friday, and all eight Lakeview flights earned two points in their first two tests as the Spartans totaled 23 points on the courts at Portage Northern and Portage Central. Finishing runner-up this time around was longtime rival and nemesis Portage Central with 21 points.
Both Lakeview and Portage Central are tied for the No. 7 D-2 state ranking by the Michigan High School Tennis Coaches Association.
Also at the D-2 regional, Gull Lake’s Lily Fell qualified for state — which will take place May 30-31 at Holland — by finishing runner-up at No. 1 singles. Gull Lake finished third as a team with 17 points.
Meanwhile, at a D-4 regional Friday that took place at both Pennfield and Harper Creek high schools, no local teams or individuals advanced to the May 30-31 D-4 finals at Grand Blanc/Holly.
Following is more information about the local squads at Friday’s regionals:
Lakeview’s McGinnis said he knew what his team had to do early on Friday to have a chance at winning a regional crown, or at least getting the 18-or-more points needed to qualify for state (LHS had enough points last year to make it to state and wound up finishing eighth).
“We had byes in all of the flights to start with, and we knew it was critical for all of our flights to win their second-round matches, because that would get us 16 points right away and get us close to a state berth,” McGinnis said.
“Well, all eight flights won their matches after their byes, we got those 16 points we needed … and then we wound up having three flight champions and another finish second. So, it feels really great to win a regional for the first time in four or five or how many years, I don’t know. But it feels great, and the girls did a great job today.”
Winning flights for Lakeview were No. 1 doubles of Alisha Horan and Maddy Drikakis, which defeated Gull Lake’s Rachel Chang and Susie Crum 6-4, 6-3 in the final; the No. 3 doubles of Maddie Schimpf and Ami Kato, which defeated a St. Joe duo 6-2, 7-5 for the title; and the No. 4 doubles of Ellie Denison and Michelle Zhang, which beat St. Joe 6-3, 6-2 for the crown.
Finishing second for the Spartans was No. 2 doubles of Kathleen Wendt and Julia Ryan, which lost to St. Joe 6-3, 6-1 in the final.
All four of Lakeview’s singles — No. 1 Rachael Hager, No. 2 Anne Sangliana, No. 3 Marino Sugito and No. 4 Marin Nakashima — lost in the semifinals.
Gull Lake’s Fell lost in the No. 1 singles final to Portage Central.
Kalamazoo Christian, ranked No. 5 in the state, finished first with 29 points, and Jackson Lumen Christi — ranked tied for 10th — was second and qualified for state with 25 points. Also, K-Hackett was third with 10 points, Schoolcraft fourth with nine, Galesburg-Augusta and Comstock tied for fifth with seven points each, Bronson was seventh with six, Hillsdale was eighth with five, St. Philip was ninth with four and Brooklyn Columbia Central was 10th with 1.
Making it to the semifinal round for G-A was No. 2 singles Megan Beaver (lost to K-Christian 6-1, 6-0); No. 4 singles Allison Thomas (lost to K-Christian 6-2, 6-0); and No. 4 doubles Kirstin Cox and Maggie Jefferson (lost to K-Christian 6-2, 6-1).
Making it to the semifinals for Bronson was No. 4 singles Elisabeth Borderl (lost to Comstock 6-0, 6-1).
And, making it to the semifinals for St. Philip was No. 3 singles Evanna Liewald (lost to K-Christian 6-0, 6-0).