FLINT TWP. – J’Lynn Corder might have a better chance of reaching the state tennis finals if she were playing in a different regional.
As it is, the talented Carman-Ainsworth junior will have to get through a meat-grinder field in the Div. 1 regional today at the Greater Midland Tennis Center. The 10-team regional includes second-ranked Midland Dow and No. 4 Traverse City Central, not to mention conference champion Grand Blanc from the Kensington Lakes Activities Association.
Corder goes into the tournament with a 9-2 record at No. 1 Singles but will have to finish first or second to extend her season to the state finals May 29-30 at the same site.
It doesn’t help that Corder was on the fence to receive one of the four regional seeds as of this writing. An upset loss in the semifinals of the Saginaw Valley Conference tournament last week hurt her chances.
“If you’re not seeded, you’re going into a random draw, so you could draw the No. 1 seed right off the bat,” said Carman-Ainsworth coach Bob Chunn. “It’s a real tough regional with Dow, Traverse City and Grand Blanc. Dow will probably end up with 90 percent of the seeds.”
Corder does have the talent and experience to pull off an upset or two.
“She’s always had very good ground strokes,” said Chunn. “She plays well from the back court, she has good placement of the ball and good footwork. She has all the weapons.”
The rest of Carman-Ainsworth’s singles lineup has Breaunna Hughes at No. 2, Rida Khan at No. 3 and freshman Katie Speaks at No. 4. The doubles lineup has Megan Speaks/Dorothy Dollinger at No. 1, Rachel Kuczera/D’Mya Mason at No. 2, Brittany Lynn Echols/Laiya White at No. 3 and Dymond Hampton/Megan Thomas at No. 4.
The other teams in the field are Davison, Grand Ledge, Holt, Lapeer, Traverse City West and host Saginaw Heritage.
The top two teams and any others scoring 18 points advance to state.