Tennis roundup: GH singles flights dominate at home

Tribune Staff • Aug 23, 2017 at 12:08 AM

The Grand Haven tennis team hosted their first home tournament of the season Tuesday, pitting top-tier local competition against each other in a four-team round robin affair.

The Bucs took home the overall win for the fourth straight year with 21 points on the day. They finished ahead of Spring Lake at 13, Mona Shores with 12 and North Muskegon, finishing with 2 points.

Spring Lake claimed their one flight victory in the No. 4 doubles flight with Zach Penrice splitting time with Jack Stempky and Jonah Schumucker, while Mona Shores snuck theirs in at No. 1 doubles. The Bucs took wins at No. 1-4 singles and No. 2 and 3 doubles.


Utter domination in all four singles flights propelled the Bucs to victory Tuesday, as Noah Bachman, Spencer Sortman, Riley Wilton and Nathan Sexton all advanced to the top of their brackets without losing a single game.

“The weather became quite a factor today, the wind really picked up there for a little while,” Grand Haven head coach Chris Wilton said. “I was proud of the way the boys handled it.

“Riley played really well and took care of business in his matches, and Nathan Sexton has played pretty well, too. There was a couple of technical issues in the singles matches. I want to make sure we get stronger around the net.”

By comparison, the doubles flights struggled through Tuesday’s quad. Dylan Shenefield and Mason Price finished 1-2 for the day at No. 1 doubles, falling to champion Mona Shores and Spring Lake. Ian Rant and Brayden Rowley finished 1-2 at No. 4 doubles, as well.

Weston Taylor and Chris Akselberg took home their flight at No. 2, along with Matt Baldus and John Richardson at No. 3; both pairs finished 3-0 on the day.

“You can’t win them all,” Wilton said. “But I would like to, and the guys would like to.

“As we get into our conference season, there are going to be a lot of bigger schools that load up their doubles really well, too. Our guys are learning about each other and getting better. It isn’t the easiest thing when you have two new personalities coming together for the first time. We have three new doubles teams, so we are looking for things to learn from, shifting, communicating and how to react to things.”


The Lakers’ second-place finish was lead by their No. 4 doubles pair, Zach Penrice and Jack Stempky/Jonah Schmucker. Stempky took the games against Grand Haven and Mona Shores, while Schmucker played North Muskegon.

“No. 3 and 4 doubles were really exciting today, as well as my No. 4 singles,” Spring Lake head coach Cathy Layson said. “I see so much potential with them. Overall I am happy with they way everyone has played.”

Spring Lake hit the tournament a bit behind due to some persistent inclement weather and scheduling issues. Rain cancelled their first two tournaments, while too many competition dates forced them to pull out of their third appearance.

With just one match played at Allegan before being forced off the court, coach Layson was just looking for positives.

“Last year coming into this tournament this was matches eight, nine and 10. This year, it is matches two, three and four,” she said. “We are looking to see that they can take whatever went wrong in match one and fix in in match two, and then from there to match three.

“When I look at these three-match days, I don’t pay much attention to score this early. I look to see if in their third match they have adjusted from their first.”

The Lakers return to the courts today on the road against Sparta, opening up their conference season with a hopeful win.

The Bucs are off until their appearance as defending champions at the Holland Christian Invitational on Saturday.

Fruitport swept at Cedar Springs

The Fruitport boys tennis team had a rough trip to Cedar Springs on Monday, falling to the hosts by a final score of 7-0 and to Thornapple-Kellogg, 8-0.

The Red Hawks took wins at No.1-3 singles and No. 1 doubles, and received default wins at No. 4 singles, No. 2 and No. 2 doubles.

TK took victories at No. 1-3 singles and No.1 doubles and received forfeits at Mo. 4 singles and No. 2-4 doubles.

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