By Shawn Liverance
Last year the Sailors narrowly lost the title to Whitehall, but they turned the tables on the Vikings and the rest of the field this year.
Mona Shores won five of the eight flights and finished with 46 points to outdistance Whitehall and North Muskegon, which tied for second with 38 points each. Western Michigan Christian placed fourth with 20 points, followed by Reeths-Puffer (17) in fifth and Fruitport (11) in sixth place.
“Yes, this was a little bit of redemption for us,” said Mona Shores coach Nate Kunnen. “This was a total team effort. I think our strength is our competitiveness and I think we showed that today.”
Mona Shores’ Grant Hylland and Gavin Kuhn both earned individual championships. Hylland earned the No. 3 singles title with a 7-5, 6-4 win over North Muskegon’s Brennen McManus in the finals. Kuhn claimed the No. 4 singles crown with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Whitehall’s Rob Hentschel.
The Sailors captured three of the four doubles flight titles, as well. The No. 2 doubles team of Max Spagnuolo and Bobby Wasserman and the No. 3 tandem of Lydia Sowles and Brady Whalen both won city championships.
The No. 1 doubles team of Austin Grimm and Chris Horvath earned a city championship by beating North Muskegon’s Chris Erndteman and Troy McManus in a particularly spirited match, 6-4, 6-7 (6) and 10-5 in the tiebreaker.
“As a senior leader this championship means so much” Horvath said.
Whitehall’s Jackson VanBergen earned a little redemption of his own on Saturday when the senior captured the No. 1 singles championship.
A year after losing in the No. 1 singles title match, VanBergen claimed a city championship by beating North Muskegon’s Jack Dobb 6-1, 3-6 and 10-4 in the third set tiebreaker.
“This feels good because last year I faced a good opponent as well, but didn’t play my best tennis,” VanBergen said.
The match featured some quality tennis from both players. VanBergen broke Dobb’s opening service game and cruised to the 6-1 opening set win. Dobb regrouped in the second set and built a 5-2 lead before earning the 6-3 second set win.
The 10-point third-set tiebreaker saw VanBergen pull away from a 3-3 tie by winning five straight points to take a commanding 8-3 lead.
“Jack brought his ‘A’ game and made me work,” said VanBergen, who had split a pair of matches with Dobb this season. “It was kind of like a rollercoaster ride for me in the second set. I fell down a little but rose up in the tiebreaker.”
VanBergen’s teammate Ashton Trnka won the No. 2 singles title with a victory over Mona Shores’ Kayden Hellman.
North Muskegon, which had players in five flight championship matches, was not completely shut out. The Norsemen’s No. 4 doubles team of Grayson Hinton and Pierce Marczak captured a city championship.
No.1 – Jackson VanBergen, Whitehall
No. 2 – Ashton Trinka, Whitehall
No. 3 – Grant Hylland, Mona Shores
No. 4 – Gavin Kuhn, Mona Shores
No. 1 – Austin Grimm-Chris Horvath, Mona Shores
No. 2 – Max Spagnuolo-Bobby Wasserman, Mona Shores.
No. 3 – Lydia Sowles-Brady Whalen, Mona Shores
No. 4 – Grayson Hinton-Pierce Marczak, North Muskegon