The first state finals competitions of the fall season begin this weekend and the Sturgis tennis team looks to ride momentum from a runner-up regional performance into Kalamazoo this weekend at the Division 3 championship.
Sturgis’ tennis team qualified for the state championship for the fourth consecutive year and will try and chase down a Division 3 title Friday and Saturday in Kalamazoo.
What you need to know:
Division 3 Boys Tennis Finals
Site: Kalamazoo College
Defending champion: Detroit Country Day
Trojans qualifiers: Eric Bartley has a first-round bye at No. 1 singles, fifth-seeded Nick Rehm has a first-round by at No. 2 singles and will face Mt. Pleasant’s Landon Voigt in the second round, sixth-seeded Avery Peterson also gets to skip the opening round and takes on DeWitt’s Tristen Fox in the second round at No. 3 singles and fifth-seeded Seth Miller will also begin play in the second round against Cadillac’s Ty Pugh.
Chad VanDosen and Kris Ransberger face Mt. Pleasant’s Eddy Trudeau and Dan Kozlowski in the first round at No. 1 doubles, Andrew Airbood and Nate Sisson (second doubles) take on Haslett’s Dillon Kleihage and Toby Bepler in the first round, the No. 3 doubles partnership of Ben Sisson and Nick Foley have a first-round bye before clashing with Spring Lake’s Craig Pratt and Griffin Wagasky and Caleb Northrop and Matt Polzin move straight to the second round at No. 4 doubles against Chelsea’s Chris Grande and Brian Jacobs.
Last year: Sturgis finished sixth overall last year in the championship at Holland Christian. Bartley, at No. 2 singles last year, won his first- and second-round matches in 2012 before falling to Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood’s fourth-seeded Marc Sable 6-4, 6-2. Sixth-seeded Rhem also won his first two matches at No. 3 singles before falling to Cranbrook-Kingswood’s Will Dube (No. 3 seed) in a three-set heartbreaker, 6-3, 3-6, 6-7(2), in the quarters.
At fourth singles, sixth-seeded Peterson had his run end in the quarterfinals against No. 3 seed Kenny Garstecki (St. Joseph), 6-0, 6-7(2), 6-0. The tandem of Ransberger and VanDosen lost in the second round to Forest Hills Eastern’s fifth-seeded team of Gabe Turner and Conner Sullivan (6-1, 6-4).
Back when the Sisson brothers were playing partners, they were defeated by St. Clair’s Kenny Herbert and Branden Lawrence 6-2, 7-6(3) in the opening round and the Trojans’ No. 4 doubles team of Miller and Airgood pushed to the finals and lost to Detroit Country Day’s top-seeded squad of Matt Stebbins and D.J. Bailey, 6-0, 6-0.