is sitting on “Cloud Nine” after capturing its first MHSAA Division 1 Girls Tennis championship in school history Saturday afternoon in Midland.
The Mustangs won a pair of singles titles and reached the finals in all four doubles flights, while taking three, to score a team-best 33 points to hold off runner-up Midland Dow, which tallied 29. (tied for eighth with eight points.)
Earning singles crowns forwere freshman (No. 2) and sophomore Joanne (No. 3).
Meanwhile,boasted three different doubles teams that completed perfect seasons led by top seeds Baal and Claudia Ma (No. 2), both seniors; Jordan and Amelia (No. 3), another senior duo; and freshman Serena Wang and junior Molly Bis (No. 4).
No. 1 doubles team of senior and junior , also top seeds, reached the finals before losing only match of the season to tandem of Taylor and in three sets, 2-6, 6-2, 6-2.
Also picking up valuable points with a pair of wins each was junior Emma(No. 1 singles) and freshman (No. 4 singles).
avenged a lopsided straight set loss earlier this season to top seed Jessica Brown with a 6-1, 6-2 triumph.
“Our motto the whole season has been, ‘We don’t know how to quit,’ and last night when I gave them the pep talk and there’s a quote from Babe Ruth that says: ‘It’s hard to beat somebody that doesn’t give up,'” saidcoach Linda Jones. “That’s been our motto the last week-and-a-half, ‘We don’t give up, we don’t quit, we keep fighting, we keep chipping away at that big block’ and that’s what did. And she beat her and it was the most fantastic match. That sealed the deal for us. When she won that match it sealed the championship for us.”
came into the match seeded third while Brown was first.
“She played out of her mind,” Jones said. “Jessica was hitting the ball short of the service line almost every time andcould come in and put the ball away. It was the most fantastic singles match. It was better than the No. 1 singles match. “It was huge. The Midland Dow coach said to me, ‘I don’t know what’s going on because we beat you so easy earlier in the month.’ We were just prepared more for it. I think Dow came in expecting it to be easy and she was surprised was fighting so hard.”
, the top seed, had a pair of three-set victories en route to her title including a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 triumph in the semifinals over South’s followed by a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win in the championship over of Dow.
“Joanne playedearlier in the season and it was nip-and-tuck,” Jones said. “This match was no different. The first set Joanne lost. When I talked to her in one of the change-overs, I said, ‘You’re really starting to make some progress.’ And she said, ‘I know I can win.’ And I said, ‘I think so, too.’ Joanne is so cute, she says to me: ‘What’s that word that we don’t know?’ And then she started to smile. And she said, ‘We don’t know what that word is.'”
Meanwhile,three championship doubles teams, which were so dominant all season, won 11 of 12 of their matches in straight sets.
and had a dicey No. 3 doubles semifinal against South’s duo of Jennifer and Hanna Wilhelm, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, in a Saturday morning match that started outdoors before going inside at the Midland Community Tennis Center. The duo then defeated Ann Arbor Pioneer’s Emily and Meghan Foster in the finals, 6-2, 6-2.
Meanwhile, Baal and Ma (No. 1) downedNicole and Kelly Livingston in the finals, 6-2, 6-3, while Wang and Bis (No. 4) toppled Pioneer’s Claire and Olivia Reyes, 6-1, 6-2, in the finals.
And the victory proved to be even sweeter for Jones, who is aHigh grad herself.
“How cool to coach a team from my old high school,” said Jones, who is in her third season with the varsity after coaching the JV squad for five. “We have five seniors, so it may have a rebuilding next year, but then you never know after that. We have some young, good players coming in. We may hold our own. Who knows?”