Otsego junior Luke Ford, seen in action earlier this season, claimed his second straight league title at one singles.

Otsego tennis takes second at conference tournament

Allegan ends up taking third place
Jason Wesseldyk

There are times when, in the long run, setbacks can be a positive thing.
Such was the case for the Otsego boys’ tennis team.
After suffering 6-2 losses to Sturgis and Allegan in the regular season as well as losing all of its doubles matches to Paw Paw, the Bulldogs entered the Wolverine Conference Tournament with a renewed motivation.
“Parent/coach Matt Thiel and I worked with the doubles flights to improve their skills and build their confidence,” Otsego coach Chuck Parker said. “They were also self-motivated by their losses and experience they gained playing against very good teams.”
That motivation showed as all of Otsego’s doubles teams finished fourth place or better in the tournament, led by a runner-up showing from fourth doubles Cade Thiel and Isaac Clemens. That helped the Bulldogs take second place in the Friday, Oct. 3, and Saturday, Oct. 4, event as well as finish second in the overall standings.
Sturgis—which reached the finals in seven flights and won six of them—finished first with 94 points, while Otsego had 84 points. Allegan placed third with 78 points and Plainwell ended up eighth with 40 points.
“I was very happy with how we played at the tournament,” Parker said. “Every flight came through for us.”
That included first singles Luke Ford, who defeated Allegan’s Alex Wittkop 6-1, 6-1 in the finals to give the Bulldogs their lone flight championship.
Not that the success of Ford, who was the defending league champ at first singles, came as a surprise to anyone.
“The only thing I felt certain of was that our singles would do well and Luke Ford would be the tournament champion,” Parker said.
In addition to Ford and the fourth doubles team of Thiel and Clemens—who dropped its title match to the team from Sturgis 6-1, 6-3—Otsego reached the finals in two other flights.
Third singles Forrest Washburn dropped a 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 decision to Sturgis’ Andrew Airgood, while fourth singles Ryan Piersma lost 6-2, 6-3 to Sturgis’ Nate Sisson.
Otsego’s first doubles team of Micahel Deschaine and Hunter Reisch finished third, as did the third doubles team of Jack Steele and Adam Coe. The second doubles team of Solomon Korringa and Drew McPherson took fourth.
It was that overall team effort that helped the Bulldogs leapfrog Allegan in the final standings.

For full story, pick up a copy of the October 9 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.

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