from staff reports
SAGINAW — Traverse City Central won its first boys tennis regional since 1999 by capturing the Division 1 title at Saginaw on Thursday.
The Trojans finished with 26 points. Midland was second (22) and Grand Blanc third (20). All three teams advance to the state finals next week.
Traverse City West finished sixth with five points.
Central won five flights, sweeping doubles.
"We did it with doubles," coach Larry Nykerk said. "That's been our strength all along."
Central's Garrett Kosch also claimed No. 3 singles.
The Trojans welcomed back Hayden Drury, who missed the Big North Conference championships Tuesday, due to illness. Drury teamed with Caleb Heimburger to win No. 1 doubles. They beat West's John Linenger and Logan Hisem 6-3, 6-0; Midland's Eric Mier and Yoodong Hwang 6-4, 6-3; and Grand Blanc's Connor Lushin and Justin Noye 6-1, 6-2.
At No. 2 doubles, Sean Soupiset and Cam Young improved to 38-1 with wins over West's David Mather and Kieran Laursen 6-2, 6-0; Midland's Weindong Hwang and Nathan Klopenstein 6-2, 6-0; and Grand Blanc's Ben Walters and Michael Ng 6-4, 6-1.
At. No. 3 doubles, Max Knoblock and Nick Jergens downed Holt's Sean Bulkowski and Alejandro Whitehead 6-1, 6-1; Midland's Kyle Wagner and Blake Grouix 6-1, 6-1; and Grand Blanc's Caleb Taylor and Josh McKenzie 6-2, 7-6 (1).
At No. 4 doubles, Trey Pezzetti and Yani Beeker beat Midland's Adam Regier and Mitchell Ensz 6-2, 6-2; West's Jake Newhouse and Erik Anton 7-5, 6-3; and Grand Blanc's Trevor Schick and Rahul Deshmukh 6-0, 6-1.
Knoblock and Jergens as well as Pezzetti and Beeker are now 36-3. All four Central doubles teams were seeded No. 1.
At No. 3 singles, Kosch, a No. 2 seed, defeated West's Ben Phillips 6-0, 6-0; Holt's Jason Daman 6-2, 6-3; and Midland's Derek Jacob 6-1, 6-1.
The Trojans picked up one win apiece from Skyler Norgaard at No. 1 singles, Daniel Fedor at No. 2 and Parker Berden at No. 4.
West had wins from Jeff Linenger at No., 2 singles, John Linenger and Hisem at No. 1 doubles, Mather and Laursen at No. 2, and Newhouse and Anton at No. 4.
Nykerk was also named regional coach of the year.