May 21, 2014 - Clarkston fans cheered for Olivia Baylis and Riley Budzinski early Friday evening as the two were battling on Doubles No. 4 court for their team.
Paige Olsen returns Bloomfield Hills' Meryl Reams serve last Friday. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
Baylis and Budzinski were on the last two courts at Rochester High School which would determine who was champion for the MHSAA Girls Tennis Regional title.
They lost to Bloomfield Hills - but scored enough points throughout the day to help Clarkston end with 27 points - one point above Bloomfield Hills, who finished in second. It was also the fourth consecutive year to win the regional title.
"I am glad we got to bring it home," smiled senior Dana Olsen. "Being able to pull out a fourth regional win in a row is amazing."
"Everyone played really well as a team," senior Lexi Baylis added. "It was a team effort."
The Lady Wolves dominated on the singles courts - taking four championship titles.
Lexi beat Mollie Fox from Bloomfield Hills on Singles No. 1 (6-0, 6-4); Isabella Spindler beat Kerry Hu from Bloomfield Hills on Singles No. 2 (6-4, 6-4); Olsen beat Katrin Gurvich on Singles No. 3 (6-1, 6-0); and Paige Olsen beat Meryl Reams from Bloomfield Hills on Singles No. 4 (6-2, 6-2).
"It has always been Clarkston has strong singles and a few doubles," Clarkston Girls Varsity Tennis Head Coach Becky Freeman said. "All of my doubles teams performed well - three out of four made it to the finals and played above their seeding. I am really proud of my doubles."
Taking second place were Caitlin McCaghy and Mackenzie Sowers on Doubles No. 2 as Bloomfield Hills' Brittany Silverman and Charlotte Garrison won 6-0 and 6-3.
Amy Brozovich and Rebecca Gorz on Doubles No. 3 as Bloomfield Hills' Natalie Langnas and Rheanna Henney won 6-0 and 6-3.
"They beat a No. 2 seed and they were a No. 3 seed," Freeman added. "It was huge. It was a really good day for them."
Budzinski and Olivia on Doubles No. 4 as Bloomfield Hills' Marie Baenen and Ester Yi won 6-0 and 7-5. Alex Whall and Katie Hubregsen on Doubles No. 1 lost their first game to West Bloomfield, finishing the day.
"Everyone accomplished their short term goals today," said Spindler. "We definitely do have to go back to the drawing board because next week is not going to be easier."
OAA Red foes Bloomfield Hills and West Bloomfield will join the Lady Wolves at the state finals.
"We have tough competition in Bloomfield Hills," Paige added.
"Bloomfield is a good powerhouse team with combining the two schools (Andover and Lahser)," said Freeman, adding during the regular season Clarkston beat them 7-2.
"They tweaked their line up after losing to us and made it stronger," she continued. "Kudos to them. When push comes to shove Clarkston girls have an advantage and we will carry that momentum into states."
The state finals are May 30-31 at Midland Tennis Center, 900 E. Wackerly Street.
"If we continue to work hard and continue to set our short term goals it will lead to our long term goal which is doing good at states," Spindler said.
"Winning the region is always a big boost to help towards the big goal of winning the state titles," Freeman added. "I am confident they will all perform to their best ability."
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007. Follow Clarkston sports on Twitter @CNewsWRSports.