Rockford girls tennis competes at Division I state tennis

The number three doubles team of Brittany Raisch and Paula Downs are the last team to compete for Rockford at this season’s state finals.

Friday, June 1 the Rockford girls varsity tennis team competed at Midland in the Division I state tournament. The weather did not cooperate and it rained the whole day. Competition resumed as planned, as all games were played inside the complex; 25 schools qualified to compete. The atmosphere was tense, as everything they worked for this season came down to their first match of the day.

First out on the courts for Rockford was their number one, two and three singles. Lauren Korlewitz, Rockford’s number one singles player, played Claudia Rodriquez from Monroe. The first match was up and down and good competition, but Korlewitz stuck to her guns and won 6-4, 6-2.

Number two singles, Marjeanne Bothma, played against Alison Stevens from Grand Blanc. Bothma was focused and played a solid game of good shots and placements. She won 6-2, 6-1.

Rockford’s number four doubles team of Melissa Bors and Morgan Vermeulen competes against Utica Eisenhower in the state finals.

At number three, Jenelle Miller played against Lauren Berry from Utica Eisenhower. Miller had a great game, the one where everything just came together. She ended up winning 6-0, 6-0.

This was Korlewitz’s, Bothma’s and Miller’s third year competing at the state tournament. For the other nine players, it was their first. It was an eye opener for them to see the quality of tennis that was played, and they knew they were up against tough competition.

At number two doubles, Renee and Courtney Fedeson played against Clarkston. They had to dig deep and did not want to give up. The game went to three sets, but at the end, Clarkston won 2-6, 7-5, 6-2.

At number four doubles, Morgan Vermeulen and Melissa Bors were up against the team from Utica Eisenhower. They played hard, but lost 2-6, 1-6.

Then the numbers one, two and three singles went on to play their second-round matches. This time they knew it would be their toughest games of the season. Korlewitz’s opponent was from Novi (number four seed for the tournament). Bothma’s opponent was from Clarkston (number one seed for tournament and 2011 state champion). Miller’s opponent was from Clarkston (number two seed for the tournament). The three Rams played excellent tennis. They made shots that even surprised themselves. At the end, all three lost, but they can be proud of themselves because they played great tennis.

Then number four singles, Alyssa Bowman went on the court against Maggie Sweeney from Grosse Pointe South (number four seed for tournament). As a freshman, the standard of play was totally different from what she was used to, but Bowman gave her all. She lost 2-6, 0-6.

Rockford’s number one doubles, Anna Johnson and Ashley Greene were up against Port Huron Northern (number four seed for the tournament). They played their best tennis of the season. The score does not reflect the type of tennis that these two ladies played; they ended up losing 4-6, 3-6.

“It was a great experience and the atmosphere was amazing, because it was the best of the best and that really made you step up your game” said senior Ashley Greene.

The last team that competed for Rockford was number three doubles, Paula Downs and Brittany Raisch, against Saline (number six seed for the tournament). They were the team with the most third rounds during the season. It was a long, nervous wait for them, but they played their hearts out. They lost 5-7, 1-6.

“We had an amazing season this year and I am so proud of the way we played at state!” said senior Anna Johnson. “The competition was tough, but we gave it our best and had fun along the way.”

It was Rockford girls tennis’ fifth year competing at state. Overall, Rockford had a great season and they can be proud of their achievements this year.

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