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Ludington, North Muskegon girls tennis teams advance to 2023 MHSAA state finals

Orioles and Norse fare well in their respective regionals, earn right to move on.

In this file photo, Ludington’s girls tennis team poses for a group photo after winning the Coastal Conference championship Tuesday, May 16, 2023, at Whitehall High School in Whitehall, Mich. (Courtesy of Ludington girls tennis)

Ludington’s and North Muskegon’s girls tennis teams were neck-and-neck in the Coastal Conference this season.

The Orioles and Norse are both headed to the MHSAA state finals in their respective divisions now.

Ludington punched its ticket to the Division 3 state finals by finishing second in Friday’s regional in Holland. The Orioles totaled 21 points, eight behind regional champion Holland Christian. Whitehall finished fourth with 10 points.

On Saturday at Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian, North Muskegon totaled 19 points to tie for second place and achieve state finals-qualifying status in a Division 4 regional. Grand Rapids Catholic Central won the regional with 23 points. NorthPointe Christian also qualified for the state finals with 19 points, matching North Muskegon.

North Muskegon’s girls tennis team poses for a group photo after qualifying for the Division 4 state finals by totaling 19 points in a regional hosted by Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian Saturday, May 20, 2023. (Courtesy of Jen Sanocki)

The MHSAA state finals will be held June 2-3. The Division 3 finals will be held at University of Michigan and Dexter High School, while the Division 4 finals will take place at Kalamazoo College and Western Michigan University.

Ludington advanced four of its flights to the finals of the regional.

“I was real proud and happy for the girls,” Ludington coach Larry Brown said. “They have put a lot of work in the season and the offseason to get where they are today.

“Special acknowledgement goes to Claire Shoup, our 4 singles, for some exciting tennis and our 3 (singles), Jennah Skiba, who won the regional at that flight. Overall, it was a team effort and a great outcome for us.”

Fia Lindsey won the championship at No. 2 singles to lead North Muskegon in its regional. Allie Sanocki reached the No. 4 singles title match for the Norse.

All in all, it was a team effort for North Muskegon.

“It’s always great when everyone in the lineup contributes to our point total and helps push us over the edge,” North Muskegon coach Cody Liverance said. “In an individual sport like tennis, it’s special to watch the girls do their own thing on the court while knowing their personal achievements also help the great good achieve a goal.

“Ultimately, we want to make it to state every year because the whole experience is memorable for all the girls and is something positive they’ll take with them for a long time. I had a handful of former players check in with me today or come and watch, and you can tell the program and what these current girls are experiencing still means something to and impacted them.”

Last Tuesday, Ludington edged North Muskegon for the Coastal Conference title in the tournament that was resumed after being suspended because of inclement weather. The Orioles totaled 50 points, one more than the Norse.

Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.

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