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Doubles boost Lady Wolves in tournament win

Dana Olsen readies for North Farmington's return. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
May 11, 2011 - All of the tennis courts were empty except one on Saturday as freshmen Lexi Baylis and Christina Young from Midland Dow continued their battle in the Red & White Holly Invite.

The fans and teams for both sides watched on the edge of their seats until Baylis won the championship in the third set for Singles #2, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 7-5.

"It was an amazing battle," said Clarkston Girls Varsity Tennis Head Coach Becky Freeman. "Neither one of them gave an inch. They played their hearts out. Being a freshman and everyone watching it is a big stage to have that pressure. Both girls played wonderful and I said 'when I grow up I want to play like them.'"

The team also won the invitational, scoring 24 points and beat the state's top-ranked team, Midland Dow, by six points.

"The girls were very excited," said Freeman about the achievement. "They all stepped up. Our doubles really played well. They didn't cave under pressure. It was really nice to have them all step up and bring their 'A' game."

They also won two championships in the singles matches and three championships for the doubles matches.

For singles, Gabriella Spindler defeated Midland Dow's Daniella Patton, 6-3, 6-1; and Katie Brozovich beat Midland Dow's Kelli Close, 6-3, 6-2.

For doubles, Olivia Dunn and Allie Wilson beat Farmington Hills Mercy's Sara Kenez and Julie Flanagan, 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-4; Monique Zentner and Annie Gencay beat Lauren Vandenbossche and Taylor Bringard from Port Huron Northern, 7-5, 6-3; Jordan Stuart and Alaina Nido beat Northern's Megan Loftus and Delaney Dooley, 6-1, 6-0.

Dana and Paige Olsen took second place after a lost to Midland Dow's Meghan Woody and Allie Vickery, 6-2, 6-4.

"Our doubles 4 (Zentner and Gencay and 5 (Stuart and Nido) have been struggling all year," said Freeman. "For them to step up to win was huge for us. Those are wins you can't guarantee and they were all determined. They buckled down and won."

She added what helped the girls was knowing it is getting to crunch time with MHSAA Divison 1 Regionals beginning next week.

"They had to dig for what they knew they could do all along," she continued. "They pulled through when it counted."

The girls host Stoney Creek on Wednesday and Utica Eisenhower on Thursday and head to Grosse Pointe South on Monday.

"Eisenhower used to be in our region and they have a nice team," said Freeman. "Stoney Creek is in our region and it is always nice to play anyone in the region. Grosse Pointe South finished in the top ten last year. We try to get matches with teams that finished in the top ten. We wanted to make our schedule as tough as possible."

The girls head to Farmington Hills on Saturday for their OAA league match. They will find out their seedings on Thursday.

The team doesn't have any league losses with their last win in the league last Thursday against North Farmington, 8-0.

"We still have work to do," said Freeman adding the girls still need to work on their game before they head into regionals next week.

Their home games are at 4 p.m.

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.
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