Tennis: Pioneer fifth, Huron sixth at D-1 state finals; Miller, Gandham win singles titles  


Pioneer and Huron headed to this past weekend’s MHSAA Division 1 Girls’ Tennis State Finals at the Greater Midland Tennis Center with talented teams and high expectations. Both teams netted impressive results against the best programs in the state.

Pioneer finished fifth overall with 19 points while Huron was right behind their crosstown neighbors with 12 points. Grosse Pointe South finished first with 30 points, just two better than Bloomfield Hills. Midland Dow was third (23) and Northville fourth (22).

Pioneer’s Kari Miller was the state champion at one singles. The junior won the state title at one singles two years ago as a freshman and didn’t play high school tennis last year as a sophomore. Miller cruised early on without much of a challenge, winning her first two matches 6-1, 6-0 before winning her semifinal match 6-4, 6-1 over Tia Mukherjee of Bloomfield Hills.

The junior actually lost the first game of the finals match 5-7 to Lily Jones of Grosse Pointe South. But she cranked up her game to win the last two sets 6-0, 6-0.

Huron’s Angie Zhou reached the quarterfinals at one singles before losing 6-2, 7-6(3) to Mukherjee.

Huron’s Miriam Gandham

Huron’s Miriam Gandham put on a dominating performance at two singles to win a state title. After winning her first two matches 6-2, 6-4, Gandham defeated Bloomfield Hills’ Grace Shaya 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinals. She defeated Savannah Matuszewski of Midland Dow 6-0, 6-0 in the finals.

At three singles, Pioneer’s Meg Goldberg won her first match 6-0, 6-1 and then took her quarterfinal match 6-1, 6-1 before losing to top-seeded Laura Leiti of Midland Down 7-6(3), 6-4 in the semifinals. Leiti went on to win at three singles. Huron’s Kami Mueller won her first match 6-2, 6-2 before losing her second match 6-0, 6-0.

At four singles, Pioneer’s Ashley Capelli reached the semifinals after winning her first two matches 6-3, 6-0 and 6-1, 1-6, 6-1. She lost 6-0, 2-6, 6-2 to top-seeded Moira Hix of Grosse Pointe South in a semifinal match. Huron’s Sylvia Giger lost her opening match 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-2 to Port Huron’s Avery McElroy.

At one doubles, Pioneer’s Alex Beloglazova / Kate Beloglazova lost to Troy 7-5, 6-2 in the second round. Huron’s Jenna Peterson / Mihika Thakurta fell in the first round 6-3, 6-1 to Holland West Ottawa in the first round.

At two doubles, Huron’s Juan Oh / Cindy Liu defeated Stoney Creek 6-2, 7-6(3) in the first round and then knocked off Holland West Ottawa in round two. The Huron duo lost in the quarterfinals to Midland Dow 6-2, 6-1. Pioneer’s Nikita Abbaraju / Shruthi Chakravarthy won their opening match 6-0, 6-0 over Farmington Hills Mercy before falling to Troy 6-2, 6-2.

At three doubles, Pioneer’s team of Riley Dickinson / Gina Liu defeated Troy 7-5, 6-1 in a second-round match before falling to Grosse Pointe South 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-4. Huron’s team of Brooke Brenner / Caroline Bromberg won a first-round match over Grand Blanc 7-5, 6-1 before falling to Grosse Pointe South 6-0, 6-1.

At four doubles, Pioneer’s team of Mary Grobosky / Sara Negrin defeated Port Huron Northern 6-0, 6-0 and Northville 6-0, 6-1 before falling to eventual state champion Bloomfield Hills 7-6(9), 6-2 in a semifinal match. Huron’s team of Alex Kukucka / Annabel Yang won an opening-round match 6-1, 6-1 over Stoney Creek before falling 6-4, 6-4 to Grosse Pointe South.


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