Luke Hall was not feeling well during Monday’s Coastal Conference boys tennis tournament at Whitehall High School, so the North Muskegon junior withdrew.
The Norsemen’s No. 1 singles standout had other goals in mind. He had his sights set on trying to qualify for the Division 4 state finals.
Hall achieved that goal and more. The 6-foot-4 left-hander not only qualified for the state finals Oct. 20-21 at Hope College, he captured a regional title.
Hall breezed through the first two rounds of the Division 4 regional Wednesday at Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian, then he rallied to win the championship match.
North Muskegon did not qualify for the state finals as a team, tying for fourth place with Western Michigan Christian with seven points.
Hall’s regional championship moves his season record to 24-3. Two of his losses came against Mona Shores standout Drew Hackney and the third loss came by sickness default in Monday’s conference tourney.
“I was extremely impressed with his performance (Wednesday), especially considering that he’s been dealing with bronchitis for over a week now,” North Muskegon tennis coach Cody Liverance said about Hall.
“I know he was disappointed he couldn’t play on Monday, but he knew qualifying for state was his goal all season long and he wanted to be sure he could put his best foot forward for that, which he certainly did.”
In the regional, Hall defeated Comstock Park’s Dylan Vandermeer in the first round, 6-0, 6-0, then he beat Western Michigan Christian’s William Liggett in the semifinals, 6-0, 6-0.
In the regional finals, Hall lost the first set to Grand Rapids West Catholic’s Jack Holt, 6-3, before he rallied to win the next two sets, 7-5, 6-3.
“He breezed through his first two matches, winning both 6-0, 6-0, to clinch his berth at state,” Liverance said. “We knew he was kind of playing with house money in the title match and he could’ve just given up, especially after losing the first set 6-3 to a tough player from West Catholic.
“To Luke’s credit, he adapted to his opponent, changed his strategy, and combined that with a competitive drive that’s really blossomed this year to push him over the edge and give him the regional title and state berth that he’s been working a long time for.
“I’m very proud of him and the work he’s put in and am excited that he gets to showcase his talents on the biggest stage our sport offers because he’s earned the right to be there and he belongs there.”
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