March 25 • 05:52 AM

Bulger makes quarters, team ties for 13th spot

Almont ends year at state tennis tourney

Matt Bulger, of Almont, hits a forehand shot while competing at the Division 4 state tennis finals last Friday at Kalamazoo College. Bulger reached the quarterfinals of the top singles flight before seeing his tournament path ended. photo by Kevin Kissane.

October 21, 2009
Matt Bulger reached the first singles quarterfinals, leading the Almont boys' tennis team to a three-way tie for 13th last Friday and Saturday at the Division 4 state finals.

Kalamazoo College and Western Michigan University is where the action unfolded.

Ann Arbor Greenhills paced the field assembled, accumulating 35 points. Williamston (26 points), Grosse Ile (23), Portland (17), Traverse City St. Francis (16), Whitehall (15), Lansing Catholic (13), Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett and Armada (eight each), Grand Rapids Northpointe Christian and Kalamazoo Christian (seven apiece), Almont, Berrien Springs and Essexville Garber (five each), Harbor Springs (four), Flint Powers (three), Glen Arbor Leelanau School (two), Kalamazoo Hackett (one) and Otsego (zero) held down places two through 20.

Bulger started things off with a bye.

He then saw to it that his run would continue, earning a 6-1, 7-5 win against Berrien Springs foe Matt Westendorp.

That result netted him a quarterfinal round assignment versus Grosse Ile's Mike Fitzgerald, the second seed. Their match drew to a close with Fitzgerald notching a 6-1, 6-2 victory.

Alex Schubert (second singles) and Domenic Curtis (third singles) had the next best Almont showings, splitting their two-match stints.

Schubert began his tournament run with a 6-3, 6-0 triumph against Harbor Springs counterpart Steve Witte.

He then saw his stint at states wind down with a 0-6, 3-6 loss to Ann Arbor Greenhills adversary Connor Tremper, the second seed. Tremper would go on from there to net a semifinal appearance in the flight.

Curtis opened his stint at states with a 6-3, 6-0 win against Otsego's Jeremy Metz.

He then bowed out with a 0-6, 4-6 setback to Williamston's Brett Graham, the top seed. Graham would go on from there to claim flight honors.

The second doubles team of Jason McKelvey and Terry Papineau went 1-1 as well.

They started things off with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Harbor Springs foes Robert Mathews and Stewart Bower.

McKelvey and Papineau then exited tournament play with a 2-6, 4-6 loss to Ann Arbor Greenhills counterparts Alex Steinhoff and A.J. Gay, the second seeds. Steinhoff and Gay would go on from there to place second in the flight.

Mitch Potapa (fourth singles) made it to the second round of his flight before exiting play.

Potapa began his tournament run with a bye.

That was followed by a 7-6 (7-3), 2-6, 1-6 setback to Essexville-Garber's David Hyland.

Brad Lowell and Shane Rickman (first doubles), Brian Houghton and Jake Matthews (third doubles) plus Mike Kendziora and Ian Saba (fourth doubles) reached the second round of their respective flights before bowing out as well.

Lowell and Rickman opened their tournament run with a bye.

That was followed by a 0-6, 0-6 loss to the Berrien Springs combination of Jared McCarver and Matt Little.

Houghton and Matthews started things off with a bye.

That was followed by a 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 0-6 setback to Williamston's Ryan McGuire and Drew Payton, who were seeded fourth.

Kendziora and Saba began their tournament run with a bye.

They then bowed out with a 6-7 (2-7), 5-7 setback to Kalamazoo Christian's Ethan Waldron and Will Harbert.

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