Talk about holding serve.
That was the story Saturday as Northville maintained its No. 1 girls tennis ranking in Division 1 as the Mustangs captured the Grosse Pointe South Quad while upending the No. 2 and defending state champion Blue Devils, 22-18.
Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central and Pontiac Notre Dame Prep rounded out the field in third and fourth place, respectively.
“This is an exciting start to the season,” said Northville coach Linda Jones, whose team finished tied for third in last year’s state finals. “Nine of the 12 players on the (South) roster were back for their final season. To post such an important victory will hopefully set the tone for the rest of the season.”
Northville captured two of four singles flights and swept all four doubles titles.
In singles, both Joanne Gao (No. 3) and Neha Chavas (No. 4) finished 3-0 on the day with Gao taking South’s Madie Flournoy in three sets, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3, while Chavas defeated South’s Audrey Doherty also in three, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Grosse Pointe’s Raven Neely captured the No. 1 singles over Northville’s Emma Worley, 6-3, 6-1, while Maddie Paolucci gave the Blue Devils their second crown at No. 2 singles, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), against the Mustangs’ Shanoli Kumar. (Worley and Kumar both finished 2-1 on the day.)
Meanwhile, it was a clean sweep in doubles for Northville as all four of its teams went 3-0 led by the No. 1 duo of Anika Mukherji and Reeshma Kumar, who rallied to defeat South’s Morgan Flournoy and Maggie Sweeney in three sets, 5-7, 6-0, 6-1
At No. 2, Northville’s Paige Baal and Claudia Ma emerged victorious against South’s Kelly Beardslee and Ginny Hayden in straight sets, 6-1, 7-5.
Northville’s Jordan Hermiz and Amelia Albanelli took home honors at No. 3 with a 6-1, 7-5 victory over South’s Angelica Kalogeridis and Jennifer Moy, 6-2, 6-4.
The Mustangs’ Molly Bis and Serena Wang capped the doubles sweep with a 6-2, 6-1 triumph at No. 4 over South’s Grace Mallires and Hanna Wilhelm.
Northville also took the No. 5 doubles exhibition flight as Brittany Maccadino and Lauren Fane went 3-0 on the day and prevailed in a three-set tiebreaker against the Blue Devils, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2).
“Even though we won, the match scores against South were very close,” Jones said. “The Mustangs have decided that ‘quit’ is not in their vocabulary and used that to motivate themselves onto victory today.”
Novi girls 4th
On Saturday, host Ann Arbor Pioneer captured its own invitational title with a team-high 17 points followed by Bloomfield Hills (14), Clarkston (12) and Novi (5).
Novi’s best showing came at No. 3 doubles as Teja Mogasala and Carolyn Zhang finished 2-1 with their only loss to Pioneer, 6-1, 6-1.
Also getting wins for the Wildcats included Katie Xie (No. 4 singles); Dhivya Srida and Youna Lee (No. 1 doubles); Morgan Krupic and Katie Valade (No. 4 doubles).