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May 20, 2017
By: Daniel Stickradt

GIRLS TENNIS: Midland Dow carries on tradition with 20th straight state finals berth


GIRLS TENNIS: Midland Dow carries on tradition with 20th straight state finals berth

SPORTS:

SCHOOLS:

GIRLS TENNIS

 

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS SCENE

 

GIRLS TENNIS: Midland Dow carries on tradition with 20th straight state finals berth

 

BY DAN STICKRADT

CORRESPONDENT

dan.stickradt@northoaklandsports.com

Twitter: @LocalSportsFans

 

MIDLAND — Growing up in the community of Midland, Garrett Turner understood the success story of Midland Dow’s tennis program and the expectations that come with that storied history of success.

 

The Chargers are in the midst of their 20th straight season where the girls tennis team has qualified for the state finals, either in Division 1 or Division 2, and the program has a strong legacy that goes back over three decades.

 

Dating back to the 1970s, Midland Dow has posted 21 top-10 state finals finishes.

 

“I grew up in Midland and saw what (Midland) Dow had going on (over the years),” recalled Turner, Dow’s 12th-year head coach who actually attended Midland High. “It’s nice to be a part of the tradition. There’s a lot to live up to (each season).

 

“There are amazing facilities here in Midland and when you have such a strong tradition that goes back so many years, young kids growing up in Midland want to attend and play tennis for Dow,” continued Turner. “I think the girls understand the tradition and want to keep it going.”

 

Midland Dow recently captured its 20th straight Saginaw Valley League championship, scoring a perfect 32 points on May 13. The Chargers followed that up with their sixth straight D-1 regional title on My 18, scoring 30 points to topple the 10-school field and win by six points over Grand Blanc.

 

“We’ve been first or second at the regional each year since I’ve been here,” said Turner. “There were several years where Traverse City Central was in our regional and we would go at each other. Traverse City Central is in Division 2 right now, so we don't have to face them.”

 

Midland Dow, the defending state champion, is ranked second in Division 1 behind Northville entering the state finals. The Chargers have won or finished second at several invitationals this season.

 

Dow finished 8-0-1 in dual matches this season, tying only D-3 state powerhouse Birmingham Detroit Country Day.

 

From 1972 through 1996, Midland Dow enjoyed modest success with six top 10 state finals finishes in Class A, including tying for second back in 1988. Most of the Chargers’ success has come in the recent two decades, as the program last failed to qualify for the state tournament back in 1996.

 

Over the past 20 seasons, Midland Dow owns state titles in 2009 and 2016, plus state runner-up finishes in 2010 and 2015. In that two-decade span, the Chargers also finish third three times, placed fourth (once), sixth (twice), seventh (twice), eighth (once), 10th (twice), 11th (twice), 12th (once) and 14th (once).

 

This year’s squad has more than carried on the tradition.

 

After sweeping all eight flights at the SVL Tournament, Midland Dow won six of eight flights at the regional and held the No. 1 seed in seven flights at the regional.

 

Jessica Brown (No. 1) and Sarah Ismail (No. 2) both captured regional crowns, while Hadley Camp (No. 3) and Victoria Leiti (No. 4) also finished as the regional runner-up.

 

The Chargers’ doubles teams all swept league and regional titles, with the units of Meghan Killmaster and Kelly Livingston (No. 1), Mina Fabiano and Tatum Matthews (No. 2), Caroline Szabo and Christina VanderKelen (No. 3) and Amelie Kraef and Reema Patel (No. 4) emerging with golds.

 

“We hope to be in the top five (in the state) again this year — and hopefully higher,” said Turner. “Realistically, there are four teams that will battle for the state championship this year — Northville, (Dow), Grosse Pointe South and Bloomfield Hills. Plus, there are a few other good teams that have some very good players. It will boil down to the draws and who wins the close matches — and I expect there will be many close matches.”

 

Could it be a title-ending season?

 

“This is another great group of girls who have been competitive in every tournament that we have played in this season,” said Turner. “They put in the time and work hard to keep us (in the top 10). Hopefully we’ll be there in the end.”

 

Traditionally speaking, Midland Dow will be just fine.

 

MIDLAND DOW GIRLS TENNIS AT STATE FINALS

 

Spring Seasons

2017: TBD

2016: 1st                 D-1

2015: 2nd                D-1

2014: 7th                D-1

2013: 10th              D-1

2012: 7th                D-1

2011: 3rd                D-1

2010: 2nd               D-1

2009: 1st                D-1

2008: 10th              D-1

Fall Seasons

2006: 14th             D-1

2005: 12th             D-1

2004: 8th               D-1

2003: 3rd               D-1

2002: T-6th            D-1

2001: 3rd               D-1

2000: 4th               D-1

1999: 11th             D-1

1998: 11th             D-2

1997: 6th               D-2

1996: Did not qualify

1995: Not available

1994: Not available

1993: Not available

1992: 9th               Class A

1991: Not available

1990: Not available

1989: T-9th            Class A

1988: T-2nd           Class A

1987: Not available

1986: 9th               Class A

1985: Not available

1984: Not available

1983: Not available

1982: 9th               Class A

1981: 9th               Class A

1980: Not available

1979: Not available

1978: Not available

1977: Not available

1976: Not available

1975: Not available

1974: Not available

1973: Not available

1972: Not available