Pioneer in driver's seat at Division 1 state championships and more local results
MIDLAND - The Pioneer High School girls tennis team is in the driver's seat after the first day of the MHSAA Division 1 state championship tournament at the Midland Tennis Center.
The Pioneers, who have finished first or second in the state in 10 of the past 12 years, scored 21 of a possible 24 points on Friday and will send six different flights into Saturday's semifinal rounds.
"We couldn't have done any better," Pioneer coach Tom Pullen said. "It was very hard all day long, and these kids came through and won some very difficult matches."
Pioneer players through to the semifinals include Jennifer Liu, the top seed at No. 3 singles, Fernanda Arruda at No. 4 singles and all four of teh Pioneers' doubles flights.
Saline is in second place with 18 points and Midland Dow, the defending state champion, has 17 points. Both of those teams will play semifinals in three flights.
Saline's No. 3 singles player Mary Hannah and No. 4 Shanna Cooper advanced to semifinals, as did the Hornets' No. 2 doubles team of Emma Eason and Heather Vogt.
Pioneer's Arruda and Saline's Cooper will go head-to-head in a semifinal on Saturday.
"We put a little extra incentive in that, because they're chasing us for a state championship," Pullen said. "It seems to be more important to beat one of the contenders."
Huron is currently in a three-way tie for ninth place with Hudsonville and Holland West Ottawa and will have a pair of doubles teams playing on Saturday.
The River Rats' No. 2 doubles team of Tiffany Chang and Christine Mei will play Pioneer's Alexa Arvidson and Julia Rampton in a semifinal. Emily Chang and Melanie Langa will play Troy's top-seeded team at No. 3 doubles.
Even the two flights that didn't survive Friday's early rounds scored key wins for the Pioneers.
Unseeded No. 1 singles player Courtney Lymburner beat sixth-seed Lauren Korlewitz of Rockford in the second round before losing to third-seed Alix Thurman of Harrison Township L'Anse Creuse in a quarterfinal.
No. 2 singles player Katherine Globerson picked up a win over Kelly Cvetkovski of Utica Eisenhower and battled fifth-seed Abby Wang of Novi to a three-set loss.
Pioneer, which has won four state titles under Pullen since 1992, has been state runner-up each of the past three seasons.
DIVISION 2 EAST LANSING -- The Dexter High School girls tennis team completed its MHSAA Division 2 state championship run by scoring seven points before its eight flights were eliminated on Friday at Michigan State University.
The Dreadnaughts, who were held scoreless in their last state final appearance, got wins from No. 4 singles player Carly Glahn, the No. 1 doubles team of Amy Appel and Kayla Harris, the No. 2 doubles team of Ashley Blackburn and Laura Kemp and the No. 4 doubles team of Polly Washabaugh and Erin McAweeney.
Dexter also received three byes.
Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern, seeking its fifth consecutive Division 2 title, advanced to Saturday's semifinals in all eight flights.
Birmingham Marian is in the semifinals in seven flights.
DIVISION 4 KALAMAZOO -- The girls tennis teams from Ann Arbor Father Gabriel Richard and Ann Arbor Greenhills are tied for seventh place with 11 points after the first day of play at the Division 4 state tennis championships at Kalamazoo College.
Each Ann Arbor school will have one flight in Saturday's semifinal rounds and each suffered a loss in semifinal matches played on Friday.
Williamston and Grand Rapids South Christan are tied for the lead after day one with 22 points apiece.
Gabriel Richard's Kelsey Geppner, the second-seed in the No. 1 singles flight, advanced to play Tiffany Ash of Williamston in a semifinal on Saturday. Annie Sturgeon lost a semifinal at No. 4 singles to Kalamazoo Christian's Lauren Hutchings on Friday.
For Greenhills, the second-seeded No. 4 doubles team of Miriam Akervall and Rae Schueller will play Riverview Gabriel Richard's sixth-seeded team on Saturday. Lexi Pugh and Sarah McIntosh lost to a hard-fought 7-6, 2-6, 7-6 semifinal to Bloomfield Hills Sacred Heart's second-seeded team on Friday.