Having missed the State Finals by one point in 2 of the last 3 years, the Eagles left no doubt Thursday at the Zandee Tennis Center, winning 6 of 8 individual Regional titles en route to 22 points and the first Team Regional Championship in 10 years.
It is the 5th Team Title overall in school history, and it came on a cold and windy day. The Eagles were seeded 1st in 7 of 8 Flights, but still had to take care of their performance on the court.
Freshman Simon Volkema, playing at #1 Singles in his first Regional as an Eagle came through after a slow start in the Final, defeating Zeeland West 6-3, 6-0. Senior Co-Captain Tyler Stafford continued his amazing season at #2, where in 3 matches he dropped a ridiculously low total of 3 games for the entire tournament, 6-1, 6-0, 6-1, 6-0, and 6-1, 6-0. Senior Co-Captain Marcus Haveman also played extremely well in his final at #3, losing just 1 game to Zeeland East, 6-1, 6-0. Alex Lowell, a Sophomore at #4, had a phenomenal tournament. Despite not winning, he set himself up well for a seed at State Finals by avenging an earlier loss in the season and going three sets with Zeeland East in the final, a player who has lost only once in Division 3 all season.
In Doubles, the team rolled as well. Seniors Caleb Betten/Josh Jacobsen reached the final before falling to Zeeland East in a tough 3-set match, a team they had beaten earlier in the season. The pair fought back after being down a set in very windy conditions. Betten and Jacobsen carry some strong wins into the State Finals at #1 Doubles. At #2, Senior Jack Zwiers/Sophomore Grant Moorhead overcame some nerves against a strong Zeeland East team in the Finals. Up 5-2 and rolling, the Chix picked up their games and at 5-5 the Eagles played a great game to go up 6-5 and did not lose another winning the second set 6-0. At #3, Senior James VanHekken and Sophomore Tanner Warners played clutch tennis to hold off Zeeland East 6-4, 6-4. The #3 Doubles teams is one of Zeeland East’s best flights, and the win will carry some weight for State Finals seeding purposes. At #4 Senior Sawyer Masselink and Junior Eli Kuiper dominated, losing a combined 4 games over 3 matches for the entire tournament. The only team to get close was Zeeland East in the Final, where the score was 6-0, 6-3.
The trip to the State Finals marks the first time in four years the team is going. The Eagles are currently ranked #4 in Division 3 and look to have several seeded flights in Novi. State Finals take place Friday and Saturday and run all day.