Three individual regional champions headline Muskegon-area boys tennis state qualifiers

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The Mona Shores boys tennis team poses with their GMAA city championship trophy (Photo courtesy of Mona Shores Athletics).

MUSKEGON – The last time the Mona Shores boys tennis program reached the state finals as a team, none of the current roster of Sailors were even born.

Twenty years later, the Sailors have reached the grand finale of the Michigan high school boys tennis season with a third-place finish at the Division 2 regional meet last week. Mona Shores posted 11 team points, headlined by the individual regional championship by junior standout Drew Hackney at No. 1 singles.

“I knew we had a chance to make it (to the state finals) as a team, but tennis is one of those sports where you still have to show up and play the game and win matches,” said Mona Shores head coach Traci Hackney . “We really brought our A-game to the regional tournament and everyone was focused on their matchups and played strong from start to finish.

“The whole team really played well and that took some of the pressure off of Drew at No. 1 singles and allowed him to just play his game without any added weight on his performance. He’s qualified the last two seasons as an individual, but he’s really put in a lot of time outside of school and during the offseason to get better and it’s really helped him gain more and more confidence. I couldn’t be prouder of what he’s accomplished and I know he’s so excited to have the entire team with him at the state meet this time around.”

The Sailors will head to Midland (Midland Tennis Center and Midland High School for the Division 2 state finals on Oct. 14-15. Regardless of the result, this year’s state meet should provide a normal experience for all the boys tennis athletes in Michigan after dealing with COVID-19 restrictions in years past.

“Drew made it his freshman year but that was during COVID, so he was basically playing in front of an empty crowd the whole time,” added Hackney. “Last year, things were a little bit more normal but he was by himself as a competitor and that kind of takes some luster off of the whole trip.

“This year should be a lot of fun for the whole team. Midland Tennis Center is an amazing facility and the team will be surrounded by quality tennis players and it should be a great bonding experience for everyone. We feel, as a team, we should be playing like we have nothing to lose, so it’s going to be a perfect way to end our season.”

Ludington qualified for the state finals this weekend with a runner-up finish at the Division 4 regional meet last week. The Orioles were anchored by a pair of individual regional champions in juniors Robby Killips at No. 2 singles and Reece Ward at No. 4 singles.

The Grand Haven boys tennis team also qualified for the state finals in Division 1 after finishing third-place overall at their regional meet with 19 points.

Below is an overview of the Muskegon-area boys tennis players who qualified for this weekend’s state finals tournaments, along with their performances at their respective regional tournaments last week.

DIVISION 1

Regional 1 at Hudsonville

FINAL TEAM SCORE

Hudsonville 28

Holland West Ottawa 21

Grand Haven 19

INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIERS

No. 1 singles

Isaac Postema, Grand Haven (12) finished runner-up

No. 2 singles

Grant Taylor, Grand Haven (12) – finished runner-up

No. 3 singles

Malcolm Johnson, Grand Haven (10) – finished runner-up

No. 4 singles

James Friggens, Grand Haven (10) – finished runner-up

No. 1 doubles

Jonah Sispera (12) and Alex Waite (12), Grand Haven – reached semifinals

No. 2 doubles

Robert Greene (11) and Jesse Andrzejewski (10), Grand Haven – reached quarterfinals

No. 3 doubles

Camden Koster (10) and Brendan Buntley (11), Grand Haven – reached the quarterfinals

No. 4 doubles

Ben DeGram (12) and Evan Bush (12), Grand Haven – reached semifinals

DIVISION 2

Regional 16 at Forest Hills Northern

FINAL TEAM SCORE

Forest Hills Northern 23

Traverse City Central 13

Mona Shores 11

INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIERS

No. 1 singles

Drew Hackney (11), Mona Shores – won flight championship (6-3, 6-0)

No. 2 singles

Victor Powell (11), Mona Shores – reached semifinals

No. 3 singles

Josiah Bement (11), Mona Shores – reached semifinals

No. 1 doubles

Tommy Stewart (12) and Liam Gossett (11), Mona Shores – reached semi-finals

No. 2 doubles

Luke Opfermann (12) and Nathan Opferman (11), Mona Shores – finished flight runners-up

No. 3 doubles

Benjamin Warren (10) and Amilia Pena (10), Mona Shores – reached semifinals

No. 4 doubles

Castor Dempsey (10) and Vincent Purosky (12), Mona Shores – reached semifinals

DIVISION 3

Regional 24 at Ludington

FINAL TEAM SCORE

18 Petoskey

15 Ludington

Cadillac 10

INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIERS

No. 1 singles

Charles Kolb (11), Ludington – reached semifinals

No. 2 singles

Robby Killips (11), Ludington – won flight championship (0-6, 6-2, 6-0)

No. 3 singles

Jack Stidham (11), Ludington – finished flight runner-up (6-2, 2-6, 6-2)

No. 4 singles

Reece Ward (11), Ludington – won flight championship (6-2, 3-6, 6-3)

No. 1 doubles

Nathan Reisterer (12) and Andrew Barz (12) – reached the semifinals

No. 2 doubles

Chaz Leonard (11) and Andre Walden (10), Ludington – finished flight runners-up

No. 3 doubles

Rylan Miretti (12) and Will James (11), Ludington – finished flight runners-up

No. 4 doubles

Zach Walunas (11) and Christian Serna (11) – reached semifinals

2022 BOYS TENNIS STATE FINALS

Dates: Oct 14-15

D1: Holland (Hope College and Holland Christian HS) | INFO AND SEEDING

D2: Midland (Midland Tennis Center and Midland HS) | INFO AND SEEDING

D3: Mason (Mason HS, Haslett HS and East Lansing HS) | INFO and SEEDING

D4: Kalamazoo (Kalamazoo College and Western Michigan University) | INFO AND SEEDING