The Traverse City St. Francis boys tennis team is in the running for the Division 4 state title after day one of competition at Hope College.
The Gladiators have three flights playing in the semi-finals on Saturday while garnering wins in two other flights. All three of the Glads’ No. 1 seeds advanced to day two.
Charlie Schmude, who was the No. 1 seed in the No. 2 singles flight, took a bye in the first round and won his next two matches to make it to day two. The No. 3 singles flight of Cody Richards also was the No. 1 seed and has advanced into the semi-finals.
Brendan Chouinard and Ben Schmude won all their matches after the first round bye and will be playing on Saturday as well. No. 2 doubles tandem Jack Britten and Anthony Spranger and No. 3 doubles pair Tommy Puetz and Derek Berta each won a match before falling on Friday. Adam Chittle fell in the quarterfinals, capping off a career at TCSF that saw more than 100 wins.
The Gladiators have 14 team points and are tied for third place with Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard and Grand Rapids Catholic Central. Kalamazoo Hackett and Allegan are tied at the top with 18 points.
Friday was not so joyous for TC Central and TC West.
The Trojans had wins in four flights at the University of Michigan on Friday but none advanced to the final rounds.
No. 3 singles player Ryan O’Connor rode his bye into a win over Birmingham Groves before falling to Brandon Alati, of Birmingham Seaholm, in the quarterfinals. Tristan Ringsmuth and Jackson Wade (1D) defeated Gibraltar Carlson before falling to Forest Hills Central in the round of 16 for TCC.
The No. 3 doubles duo of Jack McNamara and Drew Humphrey and No. 4 doubles pair of Michael Gibson and Dominic Palamara each won a match before falling on Friday. Traverse City Central scored six team points on day one.
The Titans had hopes of a top-5 finish this season but fell short on Friday.
TC West only saw two team wins with Quinn Wolff (3s) and Murphy Kehoe and David Fischer (3d) each earning one win before falling in the next round.
“We had a very tough draw and rough day,” Titans head coach Ed Bernard said. “It was a great season for us and I am very pleased for the boys. Winning the conference was huge for us and I was proud of how the boys showed up at regionals but states at Division 1 is tough.”