Source: Grosse Pointe News Online

Tennis teams prep for regionals

by Bob St. John

October 04, 2012

The three high school tennis teams competed in last weekend’s 46th annual Liggett Invitational.The tournament took place at three locations, University Liggett, Lakefront Park and Elworthy.Ann Arbor Pioneer won the title with 18 points, followed by Ann Arbor Greenhills with 17, Birmingham Seaholm with 16, Grosse Pointe North with 12, Grosse Pointe South with 10, Armada and Utica Eisenhower with eight, and host Liggett with six.“There were great tennis matches during the 10-hour day,” Liggett head coach Drew Mascarin said. “It was great competition for all of us competing and this level of play helps the kids prepare for the upcoming state regionals.”Competing at No. 1 singles for the local teams were senior Garrett Mallires for the Knights, senior Bryan Butts for the Norsemen and junior Brian L’Heureux for the Blue Devils.Marriles beat L’Heureux in the first round and Butts won his first-round match. L’Heureux ended up taking seventh, while Butts beat Mallires in the third- and fourth-place match.At No. 2 singles, Blue Devil junior Colden Gosselin won his first match, while Liggett senior Philip Pierce defeated Norsemen senior Bobby Mulpuri in the first round.In the final matches, Pierce took third place and Mulpuri was eighth. Gosselin left the tournament due to an illness.In the No. 3 singles flight, Norsemen junior Jacob Zacharias won his first match and eventually took home a bronze medal. Liggett senior Alec Petitpren dropped his first match and took eighth, while South junior Isaac Piecuch also dropped his first match before taking sixth.At No. 4 singles, Liggett junior Patrick Diaz was a first-round winner and took fourth in the end. South freshman Nick Costakis lost his first match before taking eighth and North junior Matthew Kain lost his first match and took fourth.North’s No. 1 doubles team of seniors Grant Shaheen and Jeremy Harr won a first match before taking fourth. Liggett’s duo of juniors James Jurcak and Neil Sekhon lost in the first round before taking fifth, and South’s doubles squad of senior David Wittwer and sophomore Michael Schaller lost in the first round, but rallied to take fourth.At No. 2 doubles, South’s senior Patrick Dietz and junior Victor Flynn beat North’s duo of junior Connor Olzem and sophomore Nick Cusmano and won a semifinal match before falling to Seaholm in the title match.North’s duo eventually took fifth and Liggett’s doubles tandem of junior Alan Jurcak and sophomore August Bonacci placed eighth.In the No. 3 doubles flight, the North team of juniors Tom Vismara and Joshua Champney won in the first round and eventually placed fourth, while South’s sophomore Brendan Clune and junior Stephen VanWalleghem lost in the first round before rallying to take fifth.At No. 4 doubles, South senior Eddy Champane and sophomore William Norris won in the first round and semifinals, but lost in three tough sets to Pioneer in the finals.North’s duo of juniors Zach Josfiak and Tam Rafaill lost in the first round before taking fifth, and Liggett’s team of senior Vijay Policharla and freshman Jack Ninivaggi lost their first match and took eighth.In dual matches last week, South lost 5-3 to Troy Athens and blanked Sterling Heights Stevenson 8-0.“We had a chance to tie Athens, but just fell short in a couple of matches,” Willard said. “We feel good about our chances to compete with Athens in our regional tournament in a week.”Against Athens, Wittwer and Schaller won at No. 1 doubles, while Flynn and Dietz won at No. 2 doubles. The final win was posted by the No. 4 doubles team of Champane and Norris.Everyone won against the Titans, giving South a 9-2-1 overall record.Liggett played one dual match, beating No. 2 ranked Armada 5-3.“It was a bid win against the team that took our ranking in Division IV,” Mascarin said. “It came down to (Stephen) Kneiser and (Matt) Ninivaggi. They played well and won a big match (7-5, 6-2) to give us the win.”The No. 2 doubles team of Alan Jurcak and Bonacci also won, while the Knights won 3-of-4 singles matches with Pierce, Petitpren and Diaz posting easy straight set victories.Liggett improved to 4-3-1 overall.