Eagles Sink Bucs to Start District Play
The Eagles opened their postseason by playing Grand Haven. The 4th seeded Bucs earned this match up by defeating Grand Rapids Union earlier in the day. The young and improving Bucs won the 1 Singles match and were also very competitive at 3 Singles and 4 Singles. Even though he did not win, Jaron Dykstra served well and hit big forehands to put a lot of pressure on the best player in the conference. Each of the Eagles Doubles Teams played excellent en route to straight set wins.
The loss ends the Bucs’ season, but Isaac Postema,Grant Taylor, and friends are already looking forward to next season. As for the Eagles, with the win, we move on. Up next is West Ottawa in the District Final. Winner of this match advances on to the State Team Final in Novi next week.
1 Singles Jaron Dykstra Hudsonville lost to Isaac Postema Grand Haven 1-6, 2-6
2 Singles Sam Lyon Hudsonville defeated Payden Pittman Grand Haven 6-0, 6-0
3 Singles TJ Moore Hudsonville defeated Grant Taylor Grand Haven 6-1, 6-7, 6-4
4 Singles Zach Milward Hudsonville defeated Ian Rant Grand Haven 6-3, 6-3
1 Doubles Josh Sommers/Chad Koenig Hudsonville defeated Brayden Rowley/Aashray Mandala Grand Haven 6-1, 7-5
2 Doubles Gabe Olson/Nathan DeYoung Hudsonville defeated AJ Koster/Jonah Sispera Grand Haven 6-3, 6-0
3 Doubles Owen Atkins/Colin Marvin Hudsonville defeated Ben DeGram/Alex Waite Grand Haven 6-2, 6-1
4 Doubles Jackson Palmitier/Lincoln Loughlin Hudsonville defeated Frank Roberts/Robert Greene Grand Haven 6-0, 6-1
Varsity Boys Tennis’ ‘Great Season’ Ends Without Trip to State Finals
In a strange year, impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, the MHSAA had to get creative in order to hold a Postseason Boys Varsity Tennis Tournament. The MHSAA changed the format for this one year to a team dual format. Matches pit teams against one another in 8 flights (4 Singles Flights and 4 Doubles Flights). In case of a 4-4 tie, the team who loses the least sets moves on in the tournament.
The top seeded Hudsonville Eagles hosted the 2nd seeded Holland West Ottawa Panthers in the District 2 final. The Eagles got off to a strong start with Sam Lyon taking a 2-0 first set lead in 2 Singles and Jaron Dykstra battling to a 4-5 first set score in 1 Singles. Seniors Gabe Olson and Nathan DeYoung quickly defeated their 2 Doubles opponents winning in straight sets. Not to be outdone, Senior Colin Marvin and Junior Owen Atkins continued their exemplary play dominating their opponents in straight sets at 3 Singles. Realizing their season was on the brink, West Ottawa fought back and secured wins at 1 Singles and 2 Singles. They carried this momentum forward and secured an upset victory at 3 Singles. Up 3-2 the Panthers turned their attention to the 4 Doubles match. Sophomore Lincoln Loughlin stopped the Panther’s momentum teaming with Jackson Palmitier to earn a straight set victory and knotting the match up 3-3. All eyes then turned to the 1 Doubles match where Hudsonville held a 5-2 first set lead. Juniors Chad Koenig and Josh Sommers were looking to avenge their two losses from earlier in the season to the Panthers by gaining their own upset victory. However, instead of conceding the lopsided first set, the Panthers raised their level of play and won four of the next five games to force a set tie breaker. West Ottawa continued to surge, winning the tie breaker and then the next set to secure the win and provide their squad with a 4-3 lead in the team dual match.
The last match to be decided on the courts was at 4 Singles. Zach Milward and Traeden Bethke had played twice already this season with Milward winning both times in 3 sets, one of those victories was at West Ottawa that gave the Eagles a 5-4 dual match victory. On this day, Bethke was determined to prevent history from repeating. Bethke won the first set 6-2. Milward reminded everyone how he came into this match sporting a 24-1 record as he turned the tables to comfortably win the second set 6-1. Milward leaned on his past success to get off to a 4-1 third set lead. Buoyed by his teammates’ encouragement, Bethke battled back to square the set at 4-4. The underclassmen continued to battle, but the location and depth of Milward’s groundstrokes proved to be the difference as Milward closed out the set 6-4 to win the match!
At the end of play the score was tied 4-4. After reviewing the results, the Panthers lost 8 sets while the Eagles lost 9 sets on the day. Congratulations to the Panthers on their birth into the State Tournament Team Final Bracket. We wish you continued success in Novi next week! While having their season end on their courts prior to the State Finals stings, the Eagles are drawing comfort from securing a conference title for the fifth consecutive year. This year’s team is tight, so instead of focusing on the pain of their season ending earlier than they had hoped, the Eagles are rejoicing at seeing 7 of their members add their names to the Championship Signs on the fences. Congratulations to all the Eagles on a wonderful season and special congratulations to Zach Milward, Gabe Olson, Nathan DeYoung, Colin Marvin, Owen Atkins, Jackson Palmitier, and Lincoln Loughlin for earning your spots on the Championship Board. Special thanks to Assistance Coaches Paul Bently and Anne Braginton for their guidance and to Head Coach Matt Tanis for his encouragement during the season. Thank you for the leadership provided by this year’s Seniors : Jaron Dykstra, Gabe Olson, Nathan DeYoung, Jacob DeLeeuw, and Colin Marvin. Each of you have made our tennis program better and you will be missed
1 Singles Jaron Dykstra Hudsonville lost to Teddy Schurman West Ottawa 4-6, 1-6
2 Singles Sam Lyon Hudsonville lost to Dalton Goodwin West Ottawa 2-6, 0-6
3 Singles TJ Moore Hudsonville lost to Elliott Dozeman West Ottawa 1-6, 2-6
4 Singles Zach Milward defeated Traeden Bethke West Ottawa 2-6, 6-1, 6-4
1 Doubles Josh Sommers/Chad Koenig Hudsonville lost to Reid Reimink/Joe Mireles West Ottawa 6-7, 3-6
2 Doubles Gabe Olson/Nathan DeYoung Hudsonville defeated Nolan Zink/Liam Herweyer West Ottawa 6-1, 6-3
3 Doubles Colin Marvin/Owen Atkins Hudsonville defeated Grafton Ervine/Joey Rakipi West Ottawa 6-3, 6-0
4 Doubles Lincoln Loughlin/Jackson Palmitier Hudsonville defeated Brandon Blake/Jack O’Brien West Ottawa 6-3, 6-3
* Special Thanks to Mark Lyons for being the contributing editor for all of the tennis articles this season!