HASLETT – The Haslett girls tennis team was beginning to lay the groundwork when Hannah Vogelsang jumped aboard four years ago.
The Vikings had captured two consecutive regional titles – the first two in school history – by the time Vogelsang was a freshman, and she quickly found herself in the midst of a program that was on the rise.
It hasn’t looked back since.
Haslett earned its sixth straight regional title Thursday by picking up 28 points in the Division 3 regional tournament held in its own backyard.
“We’ve had a succession of really strong players,” said Vogelsang, who was crowned the No. 1 singles champion. “We’ve had a lot of tournament players come in and they’ve taken some of the top singles spots.
“We have a team that is really motivated to win, and we want to keep that tradition upheld.”
Lakewood laid the foundation for a tradition of its own by grabbing a second-place finish and qualifying for the state tournament for the first time since 2005. The No. 4 doubles duo of Morgan Kenney and Erica Potter was the school’s only champion Thursday, but all four singles competitors reached their respective flight championship matches.
“(Coming into the season) I thought we were just average,” said Lakewood coach Martin Snoap, who has been at the helm for 42 seasons. “We just worked toward simple things – as simple as you can get.”
Haslett walked away with the four singles titles, as well as the No. 3 doubles championship.
Williamston finished in third place with 14 points and will miss out on the state tournament for the first time in 10 seasons. However, the Hornets’ No. 1 doubles pairing of Emily Pell and Maia Guenther won their flight championship with a victory over Haslett’s Anjani Raja and Sophia Vogelsang.
For Pell, it’s the third regional title of her career and first at No. 1 doubles.
“We were trying to figure out who would be my partner (at the beginning of the season), and I was like, ‘Maia is going to be the one that wins regionals with me’,” Pell said. “That was definitely my goal.
“We’re in a rebuilding year. We lost a lot of people, but we definitely improved from the beginning of the season.”
Fowlerville and Hastings tied for fourth place with 11 points, while Corunna and Ionia tied for fifth place with four points. Eaton Rapids and Charlotte rounded out the bottom two.
Contact James L. Edwards III at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JLEdwardsIII.