Members of the Allegan boys’ tennis team celebrate their first-place finish at their home invitational. (Photo by Jen Aldrich)

Allegan tennis team takes top honors at home invitational

By: 
Jason Wesseldyk

ome strong play in the doubles flights helped lead the Allegan boys’ tennis team to a successful showing at its home invitational on Saturday, Sept. 22.
The Tigers’ top three doubles teams all won flight championships as Allegan finished with 20 points to claim the top spot by a single point over Portage Northern.
Chelsea was third with 16 points, followed by Stevensville-Lakeshore with 13, Mason with 12 and Boyne City and Edwardsburg with eight points each.
The No. 1 team of Zack Sisson and Zach Lang headlined the solid showing at doubles for Allegan.
After drawing an opening-round bye, Sisson and Lang dropped the first set of the semifinals to Portage Northern 7-5 before regrouping to win the next two sets 6-3, 10-3. The pair then bested Chelsea 6-1, 6-1 in the finals.
“They continue to play good doubles,” Allegan coach Gary Ellis said. “In the first set against Northern, they were a bit inconsistent but did a nice job pulling things together and played high percentage doubles and cut down their unforced errors in the second set and in the deciding tiebreak.”
The No. 2 doubles team of Lukas Vlietstra and Korbin Sisson won its opening-round match against Portage Northern 6-1, 6-3 before surviving for a 4-6, 6-1, 10-3 victory over Chelsea in the semifinals. A 6-4, 6-0 win over Mason in the finals followed.
“They were a little on a roller coast today,” Ellis said of Vlietstra and Sisson. “But they played some solid tennis at some key points in their matches. They both did a nice job making smart shots when it counted.”
Like the No. 1 and No. 2 teams, the No. 3 team of Owen Clearwater and Walker Michaels also won a flight title. And like the No. 1 and No. 2 teams, Clearwater and Michaels also went to a tiebreak in one of their match.
In this case, Clearwater and Michaels defeated Portage Northern in the first round (6-4, 6-2) and Mason in the semifinals (6-2, 6-0) before upending Lakeshore in the finals (3-6, 6-1, 10-6).
“In early-round matches they played well enough to get the win, but didn’t really play at the level they have been the last couple of weeks,” Ellis said. “This really showed in the first set of the finals.
“But they did a great job refocusing in the second set and really controlled the rest of the match. It was a great turnaround for them.”
Allegan got a fourth flight title from No. 2 singles Kody Harrington. After beating Lakeshore 6-2, 6-1 in the first round and Chelsea 6-1, 6-2 in the semis, Harrington bested Portage Northern 6-4, 7-5 in the finals.
“Kody played very determined in his final match handing the Northern player his first loss of the season,” Ellis said. “He had beaten Kody in a match in August, but Kody mixed consistency with well-placed shots to force his opponent into making mistakes.”
No. 1 singles Tyler Aldrich and No. 4 singles Jack Nahikian each finished runner-up. Both fell to a Portage Northern opponent in the finals.
No. 3 singles Tim Lyon finished third and the No. 4 singles team of Vance Muenzer and Ben Groth rebounded for a first-round loss to win its final two matches and finish atop the consolation-bracket standings.
 

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