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Bulldog girls’ tennis team wins trip to state meet

By Travis Smola

The Vicksburg varsity girls’ tennis team wrapped up its season with a trip to the state meet after finishing second in Conference and Regionals, closing what had ended up being an excellent season for the Bulldogs.

Vicksburg finished second to Otsego in the Conference meet. Grace Breitenbach made it all the way to the championship round in the number one singles. In the two singles, Scarlett Hosner won her round-one matchup before being eliminated in the semifinal to Edwardsburg. Sadie Grossman also made it to the championship round but ran into a tough matchup against her Otsego opponent. Maya Grossman was the highlight of the day for the Bulldogs in singles action as she became the four singles champion. She started her day with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Edwardsburg before facing Three Rivers in the semifinal, winning 6-3, 6-4. Maya faced Sturgis in the championship round, coming away with a hard-earned 4-6, 7-5, 3-0 victory.

In doubles action, Natalie Balkema and Avery Sands were eliminated in round one of the number one doubles. Clara Centofanti and Sydney Glerum faced tough competition against Sturgis in round one of two doubles, falling 6-2, 4-6, 7-5. Olivia Penney and Emma Vallier made it to the championship round of three doubles. But once again, the Bulldogs fell to another tough Otsego team. In the four doubles, Isabelle Hahn and Stella Reitenour made it to the semifinal round before being eliminated by Edwardsburg.

At their Regional meet, Breitenbach finished as runner-up in the number one singles after a first-round bye and round and three wins over Niles and Marshall respectively. She ultimately fell to a Parma Western opponent. Hosner had a first-round bye before winning over Three Rivers and Edwardsburg to get to the championship round. She ultimately won there 6-1, 6-0 over her Battle Creek Pennfield opponent. Sadie Grossman made it to the semifinal round in three singles but fell to Battle Creek Pennfield after she won against Niles. Maya Grossman was Regional Champion after a 6-3, 6-2 win over Parma Western. She defeated opponents from Edwardsburg and Three Rivers on her way to the win.

In the doubles portion of the tournament, Sands and Balkema had a first round one doubles bye but were eliminated in round two by Harper Creek. It was a similar situation for Centofanti and Glerum in two doubles as they drew a tough matchup against Harper Creek where they lost in round two. Vallier and Penney had a good run three doubles but had to settle for runner-up to Parma Western. Reitenour and Hahn also finished as runner-up against Parma Western in four doubles.

The runner-up finish at Regionals earned the team a trip to the state meet, which was the fulfillment of one of Head Coach Warner Offord’s major goals of the season.

“It was nice to have the girls go to state,” Offord said. “We’ve got everyone coming back next year, so we hope to do it again.”

At the state meet, Breitenbach faced a tough opponent from Grosse Ile in round one, ultimately falling 6-0, 6-1. Hosner had a round one bye in two singles before she fell 6-2, 6-4 in round two. Sadie Grossman faced off against Otsego again in number three singles after her first-round bye. She was eliminated in round two 6-2, 6-3. Maya Grossman won her round one matchup 6-3, 6-0 before being eliminated by the eventual state runner-up.

Balkema and Sands had a first-round bye in one doubles before being eliminated in round two. Glerum and Centofanti had a first-round bye before getting eliminated by Otsego 6-2, 6-3 in round two. Vallier and Penney were also eliminated in round two of three doubles. Hahn and Reitenour lost their first round matchup against Grosse Ile 4-6, 6-2, 7-5.

Offord said the girls really enjoyed the experience of competing at the state meet. He’s already looking forward to next season since the Bulldogs will return everyone. But this was one of the most memorable seasons of his coaching career.

“It was a fantastic season,” Offord said. “Our girls came to play.”

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