Wolves clinch first state championship since 2011

By Wendi Reardon Price
Staff Writer
— It was an exciting weekend for the Wolves as they held up the championship trophy after winning the MHSAA Division 1 Girls Tennis State Final on Saturday.
The Clarkston Girls Varsity Tennis team finished the two day tournament with 28 points for first place, their first championship win since 2011. Utica Eisenhower finished in second place, scoring 22 points.
“You can’t underestimate how difficult it truly is to be the best in the state,” said Mary Jo Colonna, head coach. “I’ve said it all season, these girls had the talent and the capability to win a state championship, and that’s what they did.”
The Wolves finished Friday, the first day of the tournaments, with six flights in the semifinals the next morning with all four Singles Flights and Doubles Flight No. 2 and 4.
Junior Leah Geisz lost to Rochester Adams’ Nicole Fu in the semifinals on Singles Flight No. 1, to finish the tournament, 2-1.
The other five flights made it to the final rounds.
“We had people telling us before the finals even began that we had enough points to have sealed the team title,” said Nikole Carlson, assistant coach. “We kept up the pressure and took home three individual state titles on top of it.”
“There are 40 points up for grabs in the state tournament, every match won is a point,” said Colonna. “It’s win or go home in all eight flights. To have sent five flights to the finals, and another to semifinals, it’s amazing. Standing on top of the hill at the Midland Tennis Center, I’m watching three of my four singles and two of my four doubles fight for individual state titles. It was a sea of white tank tops and blue skirts. There was even a moment when my three singles players were all serving at the same time on the same side of the court, three courts in a row. It was such a powerful feeling, I got a little choked up there.”
Freshman Sydney Geisz, on Singles Flight No. 2, went 4-0, with her last win over Okemos’ Isabella Hult. Geiz lost the first set, 6-4, and rallied back to take the next two sets for the win, 6-3, 6-2.
Junior Charlotte Partchenko, on Singles Flight No. 4, also lost the first set in her championship round against Ann Arbor Pioneer’s Arella He, 6-1. Partchenko went on to win the next two sets, 6-4, 6-2, winning the flight and going 4-0 for the tournament.
Freshman Kayla Lemke won her championship round over Holland West Ottawa’s Evie Price, 6-0, 6-1 on Singles Flight No. 2.
The doubles team of senior Katarina Fisher and junior Ava Henkel went 3-1 in the state finals, finishing second place to Troy’s Marin Fox and Nainika Jasti on Flight No. 2, 6-4, 6-3.
Juniors Lilly Stephens and Abby Finnerty also went 3-1 on Flight No. 4, finishing in second place to Troy’s Clara Yalamanchili and Elena White, 6-1, 6-2.
Juniors Kate Ketzler and Ginger Robinson on Doubles Flight No. 1 went 1-1; and senior Lauren Sielinski and sophomore Lana Sloan on Doubles Flight No. 3 lost their first round.
Ann Arbor Pioneer finished in third place with 19 points while Troy and Novi tied for fourth place to finish in the top five.
“These girls continue to amaze me,” said Colonna. “Their commitment to each other is extraordinary. You don’t win a state title with one player, it’s won by them all. They not only completed an undefeated season and won a state title, but they did it with a 4.11 GPA overall. They are scholars, they are athletes, and they are forever state champions. Next year we are going to fight to do it again.”

The Clarkston Girls Varsity Tennis team finishes the spring season as state champions, June 1. Photo: Kelsey Jones

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