July 22 01:55 AM

Almont tennis gets tough draw at finals

Raiders finish 20th in state

Ty Sutter, of Almont, looks to return a shot during his third singles match at the state finals. photo by Kevin Kissane.
October 24, 2007
ALMONT — Matt Bulger advanced to the fourth singles quarterfinals plus Logan McDermott and Kyle Henry joined forces to reach the first doubles quarterfinal round, helping the Almont boys' tennis team net a 20th-place finish last Friday and Saturday at the Division 4 state finals.

East Lansing and Okemos is where the action unfolded.

Grosse Ile's 28-point total paced the field assembled. They were followed by Ann Arbor Greenhills (21), Lansing Catholic (20), Flint Powers Catholic (17), Essexville-Garber (16), Portland (15), Jackson Lumen Christi (14), Grand Rapids Northpointe Christian, Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett and Williamston (11 each), Saginaw Nouvel (nine), Whitehall (seven), Kalamazoo Christian and Parchment (six apiece), Berrien Springs, Bridgman and Buchanan (five each), Almont (four), Richmond (three), Elk Rapids and Kalamazoo Hackett (two apiece), Manistee (one) along with Grandville Calvin Christian and Harbor Springs (zero each).

"We did not finish as high as we would have liked," Almont Coach Dean Sousanis said. "The draw was a tough one for our players," he noted.

"Still, they had a good season. They ended the year as BWAC co-champions (sharing the honor with Richmond) and took second at the regional level. I know a lot of teams who would be proud to have accomplished what we did."

Bulger, who headed in to the tournament as the second seed at fourth singles, started things off with an opening round bye.

He then earned a 6-0, 7-6 (7-3) win at the expense of Portland's Michael Cole.

That gained him admittance to the quarterfinal round where Whitehall's Nick St. Amour served as his opposition. Their battle drew to a close with St. Amour pulling out a 6-4, 6-3 victory.

McDermott and Henry, Almont's top doubles team, would meet with a similar level of success.

Following an opening round bye, McDermott and Henry rolled to a 6-0, 6-3 triumph against the Bridgman combination of David Englund and Charlie Pawlick.

They then exited the ranks of those players still active in the tournament, incurring a 0-6, 2-6 setback to the second-seeded Lansing Catholic team of Michael Murray and Sean Courtney.

The Almont second doubles team of Nate Zgnilec and Alex Schubert made it to the second round of their flight.

The duo started things off with an opening round bye.

Zgnilec and Schubert then bowed out with a 7-5, 4-6, 4-6 setback to the Buchanan team of Max Gorton and Holly Lucas.

The Almont third doubles team of Brett McDonald and Jamil Saba advanced to the second round of their flight.

McDonald and Saba drew an opening round bye.

The Almont duo then exited the ranks of those players still active in the tournament with a 4-6, 1-6 loss to the Kalamazoo Christian team of James DeNooyer and Andrew DeNooyer.

Andy Schoen, Dan Miller and Ty Sutter plus Ian Saba and Mike Kendziora were the other Almont players who competed at states, each running into difficult opening round assignments. Schoen bowed out with a 3-6, 0-6 first singles setback to Grosse Ile's Mike Fitzgerald; Miller exited tournament play with a 2-6, 0-6 second singles loss to Bridgman's Robby Clark; Sutter bowed out with a 6-2, 5-7, 2-6 third singles setback to Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett foe Skippy Faber; plus Saba and Kendziora exited tournament play with a 3-6, 0-6 fourth doubles loss to Saginaw Nouvel's Elliot Visuri and Billy Looby.

Sports Editor, Kevin Kissane has been covering sports for the Tri-City Times for over 20 years and is one of the most recognizable personalities in the area. Kevin when not covering anything from little league baseball to football, or softball to basketball, can be found on the links playing his favorite sport, golf.
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