SAGINAW – Area high school tennis teams begin their quest for a state finals berth today and tomorrow. Teams have to win their regional, place second or earn 18 points to move on. The winner and runner-up at No. 1 Singles earn automatic spots at the state meet.
In Div. 1, Grand Blanc, which has already won the Kensington Lakes Activities Association West and Lakes conference titles, will have to overcome several state-ranked teams today at Saginaw Heritage. The regional includes Grand Blanc, Lapeer, Traverse City Central, ranked No. 8 in Div. 1, Midland, ranked No. 1 in Div. 1, Holt, Davison, Grand Ledge, Lansing-Eastern (Lansing- JW Sexton and Lansing-Everett), Saginaw Heritage and Traverse City West. Midland won the Saginaw Valley League title last week ahead of Flint Powers. One team not in the mix is Carman-Ainsworth, which was not able to field a team for the second straight year.
Grand Blanc missed qualifying last season by a mere two points but did send its No. 1 Singles player, Hunter Li to the state meet after he won at No. 1 Singles. Li clearly has a great chance at returning to the state meet. The hope is that Grand Blanc can qualify as a team. Players looking to help earn the critical 18 points include Ben Shapiro at No. 2 Singles, Stuart Johnson at No. 3 and Rishab Setty at No. 4. Doubles tandems include Brett Peterman/AlexMcKenzie at No. 1, Graham Prokott/Braedon Shick at No. 2, James Hegarty/Nick Norman at No. 3 and Ben Gottlieb/Heem Vanawailia at No. 4.