Allegan’s No. 1 doubles team of Adrian Rizqallah (left) and Mollie Babbitt celebrate after winning a point during the Allegan Invitational. (Photo by Matt Stofer)

Allegan hosts pair of top-ranked teams in tournament

By: 
Jason Wesseldyk

Allegan girls’ tennis coach Jennifer Aldrich can’t be accused of ducking tough competition.
The annual Allegan Invitational on Saturday, April 15, featured both the top-ranked team in Division 2 in East Grand Rapids and the top-ranked team in Division 3 in Detroit Country Day.
Tough competition, indeed.
And while those two teams tied for first place in the eight-team tournament with 20 points, the Tigers finished with 15 points to earn a third-place finish.
In addition to contending with the competition on the court, Allegan also had to contend with the weather conditions.
“The girls had to adjust to the wind as it was extremely windy,” Aldrich said. “They did a nice job playing with the wind and used it to their advantage.”
While Allegan failed to win any flight championships, the Tigers did advance to the finals in four flights. Three of those were in doubles, with Detroit Country Day the opponent in all three.
The No. 1 team of Adrian Rizqallah and Mollie Babbitt lost 6-4, 7-5 in the finals; the No. 2 team of Elizabeth Hill and Emma Phillipus lost 6-2, 6-3 in the finals; and the No. 3 team of Erin Milbocker and Nicole Galloway lost 7-5, 6-2 in the finals.
“Our doubles really pushed Country Day in the finals,” Aldrich said. “The girls started to put into play what we have been working on in practice.”
Allegan also appeared in the finals at No. 4 singles, where Julia Patmos dropped a 6-2, 6-1 decision to East Grand Rapids’ Hailey Elliot.
Aubrey DeBoer finished third at No. 3 singles for Allegan. No. 1 singles Emma Ruga, No. 2 singles Anya Wisner and the No. 4 doubles team of Delaney Heckman and Maddy Layton all finished fifth.
Among Wisner’s two wins was a 6-4, 0-6, 6-4 decision over St. Joseph’s Sahana Reddy in the fifth-place match.
“That was a very good win for Anya,” Aldrich said. “She did a nice job being patient and setting up her points.”
Three days earlier, Allegan claimed a 5-3 win over Mattawan in a dual match.
The Tigers swept the doubles flights as Rizqallah/Babbitt won 6-4, 6-0; Hill/Phillipus won 4-6, 6-0, 6-4; Milbocker/Galloway won 6-4, 6-1; and Heckman/Layton won 6-2, 6-3.
Patmos also won her match at No. 4 singles, downing Steffi Haenicke 6-0, 6-0.
 

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