The 2012 D2 state champion Seahiolm girl’s varsity tennis team is on their way to another title run after a co-regional championship shared with Marian. The team is confident in their ability to defend their state trophy.
Sophomore Rachel Wilson, No. 2 doubles, has high expectations.
“Our one, two, and three singles pull the most for the team,” Wilson said. “We’ve had a good season so far and are ready for states.”
Coming out of a dual match record of 12- 1 and a second place rank at the OAA Red Tournament, the varsity girls tied for first at a Holly invitational just this past week.
Clarkston is one of the state’s strongest contenders and competing for the Division 1 title, while Seaholm is competing for the Division 2.
Senior Nancy Benda and Hope College commit plays No. 1 doubles for the varsity tennis team.
“The tournament we had against Clarkston was really tough but we ended up tying with them,” Benda said. “Clarkston ended up beating us for the league title at another match. But, when we played St. Clair we killed them.”
According to Head Coach Scott Ransome, the team has several strengths this season.
“[The team’s] ability to make it up on the fly,” Ransome said, “is their greatest strength. We’ve gelled and molded some plays together as we go forward. We have a lot of freshman on the team and we’ve been able to combine experience with adaptability. Our pairings in doubles have consisted of one player who’s a little younger and they adapt.”
“Up and down the line up we have a lot of strength,” Benda said. “I wouldn’t say there’s any one person or group of people who stand out, everyone works together. Our perseverance and our ability to not let losses get to us is a good advantage.”
“The last time the team won a state championship was 2004, up until last year,” Wilson said, “but we have a lot of talent. My partner and I have only lost once this season, so we might be able to win our division again like Jackie and I did last year.”
Players who have stepped up this year have given the team a new edge.
“First and foremost one’s got to thank Labina Petrovska,” Ransome said. “She’s a junior that plays one singles and in her freshman year she blew out her knee. It was thought that she wouldn’t even play this season but she’s just had a phenomenal year and beaten signature players all over.”
“Over in doubles we’ve had many players do a nice job,” Ransome said. “Rachel Wilson has anchored two doubles. Nancy Benda and Jackie Meijer in the one doubles complement each other really nice as well.”
The team’s chances at maintaining their title holds strong. States are May 31st and June 1st.
“I’m hoping to get first again,” Wilson said, “I’m expecting, at worst, second.”
“I expect that we’re going to continue to improve and continue to fight for every point,” Ransome said. “I like our chances at defending a state title.
“We all have our sights set on another state title,” Benda said. “It’s us and Marian battling it out but we all want it pretty badly so I think that’ll give us the edge.”