with gallery: Slim margin determines girls tennis champions in SEC Red tournament
Five days after each qualified for the MHSAA Division 1 state tennis tournament, the girls tennis teams from Huron, Pioneer and Saline high schools were back on the courts fighting for a Southeastern Conference Red Division title.
The host Pioneers won the overall title, scoring 31.5 points, highlighted by winning or sharing the title in all four doubles flights. Regional champion Huron seconnd with 28.5 points and Saline finished 3rd with 28 points.
It was the second consecutive strong showing from the River Rats, who brought home their first regional championship in over a decade last Friday by beating the same primary contenders.
The recent success has coach Kendra Clark confident her team can continue using the momentum at next week’s state finals.
“They’ve had a great season, this is probably one of the best seasons for most of the girls, even the seniors,” said Clark. “I feel like they’re ready to go. They’ve never had these sorts of results before. That’s really getting them ready. I just think they’re excited.”
No. 4 singles player Catherine Chou was the lone River Rat to win a flight at the SEC tournament. The No.4 doubles team of Hannah Gadway and Saule Tamkus drew with the Pioneer team of Alyssa Roopas and Evie Van DeWege in the finals of their flight.
“We’ve got a lot of depth, which has really helped us. Normally we have pretty good depth, but I think this year, it’s down the line up to No. 4 doubles,” said Clark.
It’s because of that depth that Huron has placed so highly in the last two competitions and is also the reason why Clark feels her team can compete for a state championships June 1-2 at the Midland Community Tennis Center.
As was the case at the regional, Saline dominated the singles flights with Mary Hanna, Jennifer Ho and Heather Vogt sweeping the top three flights.
“I’m feeling really ready for states. I’m not seeded too high, but I hope I can do pretty well,” said Ho. “I love playing against Huron in my finals because it helps me get ready for the tough matches at states.”
Skyline finished fourth in the team standings with 15 points.
Here is the complete list of champions from Wednesday's tournament:
No. 1 Singles
Mary Hanna, Saline
No. 2 Singles
Jennifer Ho, Saline
No. 3 Singles
Heather Vogt, Saline
No. 4 Singles
Catherine Chou, Huron
No. 1 Doubles
Alexa Arvidson/Julia Rampton, Pioneer
No. 2 Doubles
Gina Choe/Allison Fitzpatrick, Pioneer
No. 3 Doubles
Sarah Court/Anna Borowicz, Pioneer
No. 4 Doubles
Hannah Gadway/Saule Tamkus, Huron
Alyssa Roopas/Evie Van DeWege, Pioneer