SAGINAW TWP. — Carman- Ainsworth’s tennis season likely will come to a close today, when the Cavaliers play in a tough Div. 1 regional at Saginaw Heritage.
Carman-Ainsworth is in a nine-team field that includes powerful Grand Blanc and three Saginaw Valley League teams that finished ahead of the Cavs in the conference tournament — Midland, Davison and host Heritage. The other schools in the regional are Grand Ledge, Holt, Traverse City Central and Traverse City West. Only the top two teams, plus any other team scoring 18 points, go to the state meet Oct. 19-20 at Midland Community Tennis Center. The No. 1 Singles champion and runner up also advance.
The Cavs were not expected to get any seeds in the regional, which seeds the top four players.
“It’s such a tough region for us, and my team is probably going to encounter one of the seeds in their first match,” said coach Bob Chunn. “In our region, you lose, you leave. There’s no back draw.
“My team continues to improve. They’ve made great progress through- out the year, and I’m happy with their performance. But, a lot of them are beginner tennis players or just come out during the season. It’s going to be tough to beat the seeds in this region.”
The good news is, most of the Cavs should be back next year. Chunn’s lineup has junior Noah Reed at No. 1 Singles, junior Chris Crowder at No. 2, senior Omeed Hekmati at No. 3 and sophomore Stanley Brantley at No. 4. Sophomore Damon Haley and junior Mark D’Angelo are at No. 1 Doubles, senior Tyler Field and sophomore Luke Moore are at No. 2, sophomore Ethan Moore and junior Kyle Flucker play No. 3 and sophomores Vlad Li and Jaylen Bransford are at No. 4.
“The thing I like about this team is they have a great attitude,” said Chunn. “They go out there, do the best they can and fight for every point. They’re a hard-working group of people, they just need more experience playing tennis. I think most of them said they’d like to do something in the off-season this year. That’s going to make a big difference next year if they follow through on that commitment.”
Last Thursday, all four doubles teams won their first-round matches, and the Cavaliers placed eighth in the 12-team Saginaw Valley League tournament at the Midland Tennis Center. Carman- Ainsworth totaled six points to finish ahead of Flint Powers Catholic, Bay City Central, Southwestern Academy and Saginaw.
Chris Crowder won his opener at No. 2 Singles, 8-0, over Powers, before falling to Bay City Western, 10-1, in the second round. Omeed Hekmati beat Southwestern, 8-1, at No. 3 Singles, then fell to Flushing, 10-0. In other singles matches, Noah Reed dropped a hard-fought, 9-7 decision to Powers at No. 1, and Stanley Brantley fell to Bay City Western, 8-0, at No. 4.
In doubles, Damon Haley/Mark D’Angelo beat Southwestern, 8-1, before losing to Midland, 10-0, at No. 1. Tyler Field/Luke Moore beat Saginaw, 8-2, before falling to Saginaw Heritage, 10-2, at No. 2. Ethan Moore/Kyle Flucker blanked Saginaw, 8-0, before bowing to Heritage, 10-2, at No. 3. Jaylen Bransford/Vlad Li outlasted Bay City Central, 8-5, then lost to Midland, 10-1.