By: Butch Harmon
Okemos and state tennis roundoup
By BUTCH HARMON
After winning state championships at No. 2 singles as a freshman and as a sophomore, what would Okemos junior Emily Struble do for an encore this year?
Move up to No. 1 singles and win that state title. That was exactly what Struble did, winning the championship at the Division 2 state finals in Holland. Her win helped Okemos to finish in fifth place as a team.
Struble was not expected to make it into the winner’s circle in her first year at No. 1 singles, as she came in seeded fifth. That seeding proved to be a minor obstacle for Struble, who defeated the No. 1 seed, Labina Petrovska of Birmingham Seaholm, 6-4, 6-1 in the semifinal. She then knocked off No. 2-seed Clare Aleck of Forest Hills Northern 6-1, 2-6, 6-2 in the championship match.
“Coming in as the five seed, I knew that I would have to upset higher seeds in order to win. But I knew that the people that were ahead of me, I could at least compete with,” Struble said. “My last match, I knew she would be a little bit worn out from her last match, so I wanted to keep her on the run as much as possible.”
Struble headed a strong corps of Okemos singles players, who all reached the semifinals. At No. 3 singles, Catherine Wingrove reached the finals, while Monika Francsics (No. 2 singles) and and Kylie Wilkenson (No. 4 singles) both reached the semifinals.
In the Division 3 state finals, at No. 1 singles, Williamston sophomore Sara Daavettila prevented Cranbrook Kingswood’s Alexandria Najarian from winning a fourth straight state title. Daavettila, who came in seeded second, defeated the top-seeded Najarian 6-3, 6-1 to win the title. Her win helped Williamston to a seventh-place finish in its first season in Division 3.
Haslett finished 12th in Division 3. Senior Shea Donahue reached the semifinal at No. 1 singles, where she fell to Najarian.
The Capital Area Athletic Conference Red Division had a pair of teams finish in the top ten at the Division 4 finals. Portland placed fourth and Lansing Catholic finished eighth.
Sydni Greenhoe led the way for Portland, as she reached the finals at No. 4 singles. Portland’s No. 4 doubles team of Brooke Butterfield and Morgan Wittkopp also reached the finals. The No. 3 doubles team of Hayley Bonn and Michelle Dorshimer reached the semifinal round.
Calla Ramont led the way for Lansing Catholic, as she reached the finals at No. 1 singles.