Queens of the court turn goal into reality
June 08, 2011 - The Lady Wolves made history during the weekend by winning the MHSAA Division 1 Tennis State Championship for the first time.
"There were a lot of tears, lots of happy tears," said Clarkston Girls Varsity Tennis Coach Becky Freeman.
It was a team effort from all the members of the team as they rallied 27 points, beating Ann Arbor Pioneer by two. Midland Dow finished in third place with 21 points and Grosse Pointe South took fourth with 17 points.
"We set this goal at the beginning of the year," said Freeman. "I am so proud. The girls never lost a match, stuck to their guns and followed through. They did what they set out to do by winning the state championship."
The girls finished Friday with seven semi-finalists going into Saturday's final rounds.
"Having seven courts of semi-finalists is a huge feat that made the difference," said Freeman. "Ann Arbor also had seven courts, that is why in the end it got so close. We were able to complete more wins and they got knocked out by other teams."
Three players brought home individual championships after finishing in first - freshman Lexi Baylis, junior Katie Brozovich and senior Kristina Lucas, her second.
All three beat Midland Dow players to aid the team in victory. Baylis beat Christina Auyueng, 6-2, 6-1 in Singles #2 court; Brozovich beat Kelli Close, 6-2, 6-3, in Singles #3 and Lucas beat Katie Close in Singles #4, 6-4, 6-4.
"They were stellar," said Freeman. "They went down there with their minds made up they were each going to win their matches and they did. They work all year, in the off season and play in tournaments all year round. They didn't let any of the pressure get to them. They have experienced all the pressure before. They were incredible."
Gabriella Spindler finished in third place. She had a bye her first round in singles #1. She beat Grand Blanc 6-1, 6-0 and Livonia Franklin 6-4, 6-4 before losing to Harrison Township L'Anse Creuse, 6-3, 6-2.
Also, giving the girls a huge boost were the double teams adding nine points to the score.
"My doubles came through," added Freeman. "We wouldn't have been able to do it without them."
For doubles #1, Dana and Paige Olsen defeated Port Huron Northern, 6-2, 7-5; beat Saline 6-1, 5-7, 7-5; and lost to Midland Dow, 6-4, 6-2.
For doubles #2, Abbey Hubregsen and Amy Wozniak had a bye the first round and lost to Port Huron Northern 6-2, 6-4.
For doubles #3, Olivia Dunn and Allie Wilson had a bye the first round; beat Port Huron Northern, 6-2, 6-4, in the second round; beat Novi, 6-3, 6-3; and lost to Ann Arbor Pioneer, 2-6, 6-0, 2-6.
In doubles #4 Annie Gencay and Monique Zentner also had a bye their first round; beat Troy-Athens 5-7, 7-6(6), 6-4, in the second round; beat Hudsonville, 7-6(4), 6-4 and lost to Novi 6-0, 6-3.
The team loses three seniors, Lucas, Gencay and Courtney Parkhill, the rest will be back for another journey to the state finals as they go into their offseason training and competing in tournaments on their own during the summer and winter.
"It is bitter sweet for the seniors to finally win a state championship," said Freeman. "It paves a way for a lot of great Clarkston tennis in the future. It's so exciting."
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.