The Rockford High School Rams girls varsity tennis team finished the regular season with a tie for first place at the Saturday, May 9 OK Red conference tournament. In the final conference standings, Rockford placed second behind OK Red champs Hudsonville by just one point. This week, the Rams’ attention turned to the Thursday, May 14 Division I regional tournament. A non-conference match with Caledonia was scheduled for Monday, May 11. The Rams finished conference play with a 6-1-1 record, and a 9-1-1 overall record. The team won two invitationals.
At the conference tournament, the Rockford squad tied with Hudsonville at 50 points each. Lindsay Gauger and Meliah Mead earned first-place medals for the fourth doubles flight, topping the runners-up from Jenison, 6-1 and 6-0. Second singles player MJ Bothma, third singles player Alex Stembaugh, and the first doubles team of Jill Haverkate and Katie Rachon were awarded medals as runners-up in their flights.
Rain forced the conference event indoors at MVP in Rockford, Riverview and Ramblewood for the morning. By the afternoon, the rain stopped and the tournament moved back outdoors to the Jenison High School courts.
The Rams were to face a nearly identical slate for Thursday’s regional tournament, except for Hudsonville. Ranked fifth in the state in Division II by high school tennis coaches, the Eagles moved to the Division II regional event.
Winning teams and top singles flights at the regional tournaments are eligible for the state finals, May 29-30. Last year’s Rockford girls varsity tennis team was the first to qualify for the state finals in a decade, and finished in 15th place.