Allegan earns seventh-place finish at girls’ tennis state final

By: 
Jason Wesseldyk

As she looks back on the season, Allegan girls’ tennis coach Jennifer Aldrich views April 30 as the turning point for her team’s season.
That’s the day her team, which had lost seven seniors to graduation, posted a 5-3 win over state-ranked Forest Hills Eastern.
“I really feel our season swung with the win at Forest Hills Eastern,” Aldrich said. “We needed that going into conference and regionals with such a young team. They were state-ranked and (beating them) carried us through conference and regionals.”
And it carried the Tigers right into the state finals, where they tied for seventh place with 10 points at the Friday, May 29, and Saturday, May 30, event.
Forest Hills Eastern, for the record, ended up tied for 10th with nine points.
“This was a rewarding year as a head coach,” Aldrich said. “After losing seven seniors last year, this shows the depth of our program.
“We challenged the team in March that our season was about where we could get as a team come May and they answered the call at the conference and regional tournaments. And at the end of the state finals, we’re excited about the future.”
That future will not include Livia Christman and Karlie Wells, the only two seniors on the squad.
But both made their final appearance for Allegan memorable.
Christman, seeded fourth at No. 1 singles, reached the semifinals by posting wins of 6-1, 6-1 and 6-1, 6-5 following an opening-round bye. She dropped a 6-0, 6-0 decision in the semis to Williamston’s Sara Daavettila, who ended up winning the state title without losing a single game.
“Liv had a great run and her quarterfinal win showed her mental toughness,” Aldrich said. “She was great in supporting the younger players and really helped in their improvement.
Wells, meanwhile, was the sixth seed at No. 2 singles and had an opening-round bye before earning a 6-0, 6-0 win in the second round. In the quarterfinals, she dropped a 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-1 decision to third-seeded Anna Asfour of Grand Rapids Christian.
“Karlie left everything on the court during her quarterfinal match and I will always remember the toughness she displayed,” Aldrich said. “She represented Allegan well and she made the entire program proud.”

For full story, pick up a copy of the June 4 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.

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