The Rockford varsity girls tennis team played their last conference game against Grandville last week. Rockford defeated Grandville 8-3, with wins at number two singles (Marjeanne Bothma), number three singles (Jenelle Miller), number four singles (Alyssa Bowman), number three doubles (Paula Downs, Brittney Raisch), and number four doubles (Mellisa Bors, Morgan Vermeulen) to go into the conference competition with a 5-1 record. On May 10 they played Northview to prepare for conference and ended up with a draw, but were ready for conference. On May 12 the girls went to Jenison and Baldwin tennis courts to compete for conference against Grandville, East Kentwood, Hudsonville, West Ottawa, Jenison and Grand Haven. With only a few matches to be played, all games were stopped due to rain and postponed until 4 p.m., Monday, May 14.
Rockford girls varsity tennis
Rockford girls varsity tennis team ended an extremely busy week on a winning note Saturday, May 7, adding to several other wins posted earlier in the week. The team traveled to Ludington and enjoyed favorable weather for a change, ultimately emerging the winner in a six-team invitational, which was also attended by Petoskey, Traverse City, Holland and Coopersville. Excellent teamwork led to the victory, as all flights contributed at least two points to the ultimate score. Coach Tom Huizing is proud of his girls, and said, “We’ve had a big week, and we needed to stay focused. I’ve talked to the girls about being prepared on and off the court. They’re doing a great job of being professional and putting priorities in the right place for the week. That has helped them be successful on the courts.” Although the team lost to tough competition at West Ottawa on Monday, May 2, they were victorious over Grand Haven on Tuesday, May 3, with a 6-2 score, and also defeated Muskegon 8-0 on Wednesday, May 4. According to senior and team co-captain Alex Stembaugh (three singles), “It was a great day to be a Ram; it was nice to have a big win today.” Echoing the sentiment was Kristen Long at four doubles. “It was a rough start in our big match yesterday, but we’re playing tough,” she said. “I can’t wait to get to Ludington.” Thursday, May 5, saw the team tie in their match at Northview.
Oops, they did it again! Rockford girls varsity tennis qualified for the state finals after accumulating the necessary 18 points to earn the honor. The stage was set back on May 15 when the Rams hosted the OK Red conference tournament. Rockford earned 45 points, finishing third and providing the positioning needed for preferred seeding at the regional tournament this past Saturday, May 22 in Jenison. Each of the eight flights won their first round in the single elimination regional event. As the day progressed, it started to become a possibility that Rockford would be a contender. All four doubles teams won their second round as two, three and four singles did as well. It happened to be the hottest day of the season, with temperatures reaching over 80 degrees on the courts. All the players were getting anxious to see if their dream would become a reality. As each flight advanced, it became evident the dream was possible. By late afternoon, after each flight contributed points toward the required 18, it was realized that Rockford had 17 points with one match still to play. Junior Alex Stembaugh, playing three singles, had advanced all the way into the final round. Playing as cool as she did all year, Stembaugh beat her worthy opponent from Hudsonville in straight sets. “I expected tough competition going into the match,” said Stembaugh. “I knew I would have to step up my game.” Coach Tom Huizing stated, “This was a hard-fought season. In the OK Red anything can happen on any day. The same holds true in the regionals. Everyone knew what to do and everyone contributed. Alex was amazing at handling the pressure like a veteran player. I’m extremely proud of the entire team. They did it as a team. They got it done.” It looks like spring tennis is blossoming nicely in Rockford. This will be the third year in a row that the team will be going to state finals under the coaching of Huizing. The entire team is thankful for Coach Huizing, all the community for their support, the parents, the press for covering the action each week, their teachers and friends that came out to see them play, JV coach Val Wallace and their number […]
Prior to the Monday, May 3 match-up against Grand Haven, the Bucs presented the Rams with a card signed by their entire team expressing their condolences for the unexpected loss of classmate Stephen May. The kind gesture from the Grand Haven team was very much appreciated by the Ram team, coach and parents. A memorial service that afternoon made the match an emotional one for everyone. The Rockford Rams dug in, played hard and won the match 6-2. Highlights included victories by MJ Bothma (second singles, 7-6, 6-2), Alex Stembaugh (third singles, 6-3, 6-1), and Jenelle Miller (fourth singles, 7-6, 6-2). Second doubles Mackenzie Young and Lindsay Gauger won their flight 6-3, 6-0. Third doubles Tara Murray and Nicole Strobel won their flight in third set action 3-6, 7-5, 6-1. Fourth doubles Megan Zawacki and Julie Daukss also played an exciting third set, winning their flight 7-6, 4-6, 6-4. Rockford hosted Holland West Ottawa on Wednesday, May 5, losing in this tough conference match 6-2. Winning their flights and posting strong performances were Rams Lauren Korlewitz (first singles, 6-1, 6-3) and Bothma (second singles, 6-0, 6-4). Commenting on the team performance so far this season, Coach Tom Huizing stated, “We have had some gutsy wins over Grandville and Grand Haven, that have given me and I’m sure the parents a few gray hairs.” When asked what the team needs to do moving forward, Coach Huizing added, “We need to play tough matches. Win or lose, those matches will make us stronger as we enter into the conference and regional tournaments. The teams that move on to the state tournament are the teams that can handle the pressure in the toughest of matches. I think that our team has made strides over the last couple weeks in dealing with those tough pressure-filled matches. Winning in tennis is such a mental game and when you throw in a pressure-filled scenario, your mind must be in the right place if you plan on being successful. Our team is getting to that point. We’ve done an excellent job making progress, but our season is far from done and we need to continue to make growth in all facets of our game.” The season is half over and Rockford is […]
The Rockford girls varsity tennis team brought home a first-place trophy last week from the Ludington Invitational, which occurred at Ludington High School’s brand-new Schoenherr Tennis Center on Saturday, May 2. The invitational also featured Traverse City West High School. Forest Hills Eastern High School bowed out, citing swine flu concerns. The Rams posted 10 points, the TC West Titans 8, and the Ludington Orioles 6. Rockford players who received medals for winning their flights were Alex Stembaugh (third singles), Mackenzie Young and Michaela Young (third doubles), and Lindsay Gauger and Meliah Mead (fourth doubles). Earlier in the week, the Rams traveled to Grand Haven and posted a 4-4 tie. Stembaugh won at third singles, 6-3 and 6-2. Also snagging wins in Grand Haven were second doubles players Anna Sinkevics and Heather Williams (6-3, 7-6), Young and Young at third doubles (6-0, 6-0), and Gauger and Mead at fourth doubles (6-3, 6-2). At a non-conference match last week, the Rams claimed a 5-3 victory over Northview, the alma mater of Rockford Coach Tom Huzing. A full schedule was planned for the week of May 3, as the Rockford team was to play two matches that were postponed by rain earlier in the season, as well as two scheduled matches. The week is expected to culminate on Saturday with the OK Red conference meet at Jenison High School. So far for this rainy spring season, the Rockford Rams girls varsity tennis team has a record of four wins, one loss and one tie. The team has won two invitationals and came in second in another.